One Word….

What is your “one word” that will inspire you in your classroom or school in 2015?

When I read this weeks prompt for #YourEduStory I was intrigued. How could I sum up everything that I wanted to say in one word. I played around with several words before finally deciding on troubleshooting.

According to the keeper of all knowledge, Wikipedia, troubleshooting is the act of problem solving. When most people think of troubleshooting they think of technological troubleshooting. While it would be amazing for all of my teachers and staff to be fixing their own technical issues,  I want to go beyond that and focus on the bigger concept of problem solving. I want my teachers and students to be solutions oriented thinkers. When presented with a problem I want to hear solutions instead of complaints. If I hear complaints I want to hear others offering solutions instead of joining in on the misery train. I want teachers to feel that they can experiment with different instructional strategies…..and not be looked down upon if they fail as long as they learn from the experience. Switching to a solutions oriented mindset is going to take some time. It might not be this year or next year but I do feel like eventually the switch will happen and once it does I expect big things from my teachers and students.


  1. I struggle with the don’t be a whinner idea.. I don’t want to waste time, energy, and optimism with complaining. My problem is knowing when defining the problem crosses the line and becomes complaining. It seems to be a thin line in my mind.

    Thanks for the post.

    • I struggle with it as well. It’s very easy to complain and not be solutions oriented. It takes time. Good luck!

  2. Ryan, I think it is great that you are expanding the definition of your word to include not only the technical, but a shift in mindset and behavior. It will take time, as you say, but I am sure you will be able to help your teachers get there. I hope you will blog about the most effective strategies you find, as I am also hoping to find ways to keep teachers of the “misery train” and get them on the road to a place they are comfortable trying new things. Good luck!

    • Thanks Nancy! I will definitely share any strategies that work. Please make sure you do the same!

  3. Great word! We all can do better when we try to troubleshoot instead of avoid solutions. I had to laugh when I saw the Rubik’s Cube with the word “troubleshoot” – when I was in college, I found a book that outlined the steps for solving the Cube. I memorized them, and then very proudly showed anyone who was willing to watch how quickly I could “solve” the Cube. So much for troubleshooting — I just didn’t have the patience! But I guess following directions is another way to troubleshoot, right?

  4. Troubleshooting sounds like a good match for you 🙂 What you are asking the teachers to do is exactly what we want our students to do…think of all the ways to navigate around the problem before throwing hands up in the air and stepping away. It’s all about that mindset. 🙂

  5. What a great word, what a great concept … Found myself heading nodding in agreement throughout your post. Don’t come to me with problems unless you have solutions, should be the mantra for all schools. You’ve got me thinking on how we can get those that jump on board the complaints train – to offer solutions rather than add to the litany of complaints.

    • Glad to hear I’m not alone. As you develop your ideas please make sure to share them!

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