Green Eggs and Ham:
The best TOSA/coaching handbook
You do not like them.
So you say.
Tyr them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.
~ Sam I AmI was recently reading Green Eggs and Ham with my little girls, Coletta 3 and Ellery 1. After I read any book to them I always do a short recap of the story with them and always talk about what the story means and how it could apply to us. With Green Eggs and Ham we talked about how we may like things which others may not like initially, but we also learn that we should always keep an open mind to try new things as to not miss out on new opportunities. This last time we read the book we talked about how even though others may say no the first time, if we feel others will benefit from it, we should always be persistent and find opportunities to suggested the item again. It was in this moment I had a revelation, Green Eggs and Ham is the ultimate handbook to help coaches and TOSAs encourage teachers to try new things.
So hear me out on this. “Sam I am” absolutely LOVES Green Eggs and Ham. He loves it so much it seems like all he talks about. “Guy”, never named in the book but recently named in the Netflix cartoon, wants nothing to do with Sam or his Green Eggs and Ham. No matter how cheerful or colorful Sam is in his presentation, Guy has no interest in the content of this conversation. In fact, Guy is hard pressed to even look up from his laptop, err Newspaper, while Sam is reporting how great his Green Eggs and Ham are. Sam could have cut his losses here and tried another “friend” but he knows his friend and truly believes Guy will love Green Eggs and Ham if he would just give them a shot. So instead of giving up, he looks for other instances where the Green Eggs and Ham could be tried and like by Guy. This is the persistence needed to overcome the initial rebukes.
Hey Guy, how about we try them HERE or maybe over THERE? No? What about if you try them in a box with a fox? No? Why not try them with a mouse in a house? No? Why not try them on a train in the rain? No? Why not try them on a boat with a goat? No? You see here Sam is not just pushing Guy to just try the Green Eggs and Ham, he is giving him different examples where the item might actually be useful for Guy to try. Sam truly believes Guy will benefit from his recommendation so he does not give up. Sam keeps his head up until Guy finally decides to give them a try and you know what? He likes them. He likes them so much he sees how they would be good in all the previous instances Sam recommended beforehand.
As content coaches and TOSAs, we have all given PD and presentations which we believe our fellow staff members would find useful. Some may try what you are recommending, but others may instantly rebuke your ideas and do not see how the content applies to them or how they would use it in their class. It takes persistence by us coaches to show HOW the content, tools, or applications can change their classroom. This is done by working directly with individuals and recommend where the tools and practices could easily fit in with the lessons and curriculum they are already teaching. Replace fox in a box with “Try Flipgrid, why not as the conclusion in your lab report solution” or “Why not try Nearpod for instant insights, during your Civil War discussion on those Gray vs Blue fights?” Why not… HERE… Why not THERE?
As coaches and TOSAs all we want is for our fellow teachers to give our ideas a shot. We are not offering a one size fits all solution, rather we are offering ideas that you can then mold to fit into your current content. These new ideas may be bizarre to some teachers, as off putting as Green Eggs and Ham, but if you truly believe in the effectiveness of your content, tools, abilities and workflows, then you need to be as persistent as Sam I am so that they at least take that initial taste. You never know they may say “Hey! I like Edji and the New Flipgrid Cam! I do! I do like them Sam I am! And I will use them during a lesson, and they will help with my paper congestion! Getting there may not be “over easy” but the end result is always fun when the hunger for more begins!
NOTE: If you liked this blog please listen to our Sons of Technology Podcast, Episode 028: Inspiration Through Pop Culture for more ideas of how pop culture can change your thoughts and approach to teaching and coaching.