Curiosity Saves.

Matt Preparing For Descent
Preparing For Descent


A few weeks ago I asked my fantastic grade 9 class to give me a prompt for my blog.  They quickly constructed a bank of provocative ideas for me to navigate.  One of the prompts asked me to explore the classic cat question: Do cats always land on their feet?

I realize in writing this, perhaps that timeless question needs to be revised to ‘Do cats always land on their paws?’ but let’s not get lost in the semantics of this line of inquiry.

Sadly, grade 9, I am not an expert in cat flight trajectory paths, but I’m not about to let that stop me from attempting to unpack this question.

I am however, a pretty experienced Youtuber.  A quick search helped me find this:

When you experience trauma when you are relaxed, you will likely experience less injury

Chill out.

That seems to be the big takeaway lesson from that pretty rad slow motion cat falling video.  Relax.  How does this apply to our species?

If you think you are about to make a mistake, breathe.  Don’t tense up, instead be flexible.  While the mistake you’ve made might be a completely different story to that of a cat trying to fly, consider this: how you react to ‘a fail’ epic or otherwise is more important to the mistake itself.

Fail Forward.

Huh?  Mistakes matter.

“You will fail. It’s going to happen. … Each mistake is simply another iteration on the journey toward success.”

(John Spencer, Launch)


Cats are remarkably curious.  According to the internet they are also mad ninjas.  Be a curious ninja.  Cats take crazy leaps, and whether or not they always land on their paws/feet isn’t really the essential point.  Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, curiosity encouraged the cat to find out just how ninja that cat could be.

How will curiosity fuel your next leap?

zuikoalex Pounce!



Thank you to Flickr for your bank of Creative Commons Images


Preparing For Descent





If you blogging, blog on it!

“What am I doing that will help me succeed?”- Tasha Eurich

Via Flickr Creative Commons Ian Sane "Freedom"
Via Flickr Creative Commons Ian Sane “Freedom”


I love how the Ted Talk above helps remind us that when it comes to coaching or improvement, that sometimes focusing on JUST one element at a time is the most important thing to do.  An actionable step forward is better than an indeterminate amount of time guessing where to put our feet.

My ‘one thing,’ is to provide a better menu of blog post prompts for my students.  That step is part of what I hope will be a journey towards a more authentic blogging community at my school.  I want my students to see themselves as writers and thinkers, and their blogs as important tools for their trade.  Thus far, their blogs have been a place for work and reflection.  I’d like to see more autonomy in posting, more freedom and flexibility in what is being shared.

Via Creative Commons on Flickr Aphrodite's "Although you are far"
Via Creative Commons on Flickr Aphrodite’s “Although you are far”


So here’s the part where I ask for your help:  I’m looking for a few great prompts.  While students will not be limited to these prompts, I want them to see the prompts as a series of diving platforms.

Please take a look at my list as it currently stands.  I’m looking for great corners of the web to point our writers to–anything that will beget more creativity is welcome.  I would appreciate any ideas fed in as a comment below.  Additionally, if you have an approach you are proud of, or if you have an obstacle you want to talk about, please see this post as a diving board into discussing which catalysts work, and which curbs jump out at you, the facilitator.  Thanks in advance!

Via Creative Commons on Flickr Michelle Gow "Untitled"
Via Creative Commons on Flickr Michelle Gow “Untitled”