5-8, 6-12, Careers, Education, Independent Study, Research, Social Studies, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

My Role Model

from: Academy of Achievement
from: Academy of Achievement

If you have students who are working on Genius Hour or any kind of biographical research, you may want to have them check out “My Role Model” from the Academy of Achievement.

This tool allows the user to choose from three different categories: what you want to achieve, what kind of personality you have, and what challenges you have faced.  If you choose an item to reflect yourself from each category, then the tool will give you a list of people in the Academy who have those attributes in common with you.

Of course, you don’t have to use the tool to find someone who is similar to you; you can use the categories to find people who have particular admirable traits, instead, for example.

I have posted about the Academy of Achievement before, but did not focus on the Role Model tool.  Also, I did not specifically mention it as a good Genius Hour resource.  There are many biographies, podcasts, and videos on the site that could make good reference materials for students in grades 5 and up.  You can also find Academy members based on their careers here.

You can find this site, along with a few other recommendations for Genius Hour project ideas, on my Genius Hour Resources page, as well as my Genius Hour Bookmarks post.

5-8, 6-12, Careers, Education, Motivation, Philosophy, Teaching Tools, Videos

Mark Bezos and Jeff Bezos – Two Very Different Men With a Very Similar Message

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Last year, around this time, I posted about the Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) graduation speech that I planned to share with my gifted 5th graders.  I did share it with them, and I intend to share it with my current 5th graders this week.  They will go on to middle school next year, and Jeff Bezos says everything I hope these students will remember – much more eloquently than I can ever phrase it.

This weekend, I heard a TED talk on the TED Radio Hour from a different Bezos, Mark, who I assume is no direct relation.  Mark is a volunteer fire fighter, and though his story is quite different, I am fairly certain that Jeff Bezos would nod his head in agreement with Mark’s message.  One line, in particular, resonated with me, “Not every day is going to offer us a chance to save somebody’s life, but every day offers us an opportunity to affect one.”

And so, this year, my students will view two talks by men named Bezos.  As a teacher for 23 years, I have tried my best to “save the shoes” on a daily basis.  Before this group of kids move on, I am going to make one last attempt to enter that burning building and grab 16 pairs to dole out to my class.  They might just throw them away, or they might slip them on and wear them forever.  I will probably never know, either way.

But at least I’ll know that I tried. (If you would like to view some more inspirational videos for teachers or students, you can click here or here.)