Author: Spencer Campbell

The Hero’s Journey: The Latest Video from the Crash Course Team

The Hero’s Journey: The Latest Video from the Crash Course Team Let’s get Heroic with Mike Rugnetta. This week on Crash Course World Mythology, we’re talking about the Hero’s Journey and the Monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell. Campbell’s theories about the shared qualities of human story telling are pretty cool. And they’ve been hugely influential on the way we tell stories today. So, consider this your Call to Destiny. Crash Course is going to help you Cross the Threshold into the Belly of the Whale that is YouTube, and escort you through the Many Trials, on our way...

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Before Things Were Instant

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” —Robert Frost. I remember a time before things were instant: Cell Phones, Email, the Internet. I was in a position where my communication with my family and friends was sent through the US Postal Service.  If I had a question or request for my parents, I typically had to wait 8-9 days for a response. Most of the time I solved the problem or figured out the answer to my question before the response came. Why? Because I needed the results quicker than the time frame given...

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That’s Not My Problem

“That’s Not My Problem!” I hear this statement a few times a week. To me, it translates into, “I don’t have the time, energy, or skills to solve the problem that lies in front of me.” Or, “I don’t care about the outcome or solution to the problem so therefore it’s not my problem.” In education and the business world for that matter, if a problem doesn’t get solved in a timely matter, it grows to the point that it becomes everyone’s problem. How do we get everyone on the team to focus on solutions rather than problems?...

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How can you/we make this right? Restorative Discipline

How can we make this right?  This question comes up in almost every interaction I have with students in my office. It’s followed by, “What things need to be made right? And who do you need to make things right with?”  Depending on the incident, this conversation can last anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes.  The keys to making this exercise successful are the steps that follow these simple questions. First, I ask the student to practice this process out loud with me. Second, I let them know that I am going to follow up with them and the other party involved. I pretend to be the teacher/other student/ hall monitor/ secretary and have the student approach and talk to me as if they were going to apologize and make things right. It’s painfully awkward and uncomfortable, but the students usually leave with a few different ways to make things right. I bring them back down a couple of days later to see how the conversation went. Or I stop them in the hallway and see what happened. If they didn’t follow through on their end of the process, I sit down with them and find out why. Then we go through steps one and two...

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Golf and Classroom Management

I am not good at golf. I don’t have a handicap, I regularly take two tee shots, and I abuse the club length rule quite often. However, three or four times during every round I hit a shot that keeps me coming back. Sometimes it’s a monster drive, other times it’s a 15-foot put, or once it was an eagle two from 145 yards out. The point is most of the time I am not playing well; it’s the positive moments scattered throughout the round that keeps me playing golf. I don’t think students need to be in a state of bliss every time they walk in our classrooms; it’s difficult to be at 100%, 100% of the time. However, if we can give kids positive learning experiences each week, it will keep them coming back for more. Imagine if a middle/high school student had three or four positive experiences with each teacher every week. They might enjoy school or even thrive in that type of environment. And obviously, if you turn those interactions into negative experiences they will most likely despise school. You probably have these students in your class. Metaphorically speaking, How often do you go to the classroom driving range or putting...

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