The Best Question in the World

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Every week my kids write three blog posts.  Two are connected to the content we are covering, but always a bit on the outside of it, and one is somewhat more personal…more reflective.  Last week I had the kids view the slideshare embedded below and write a post completing and answering the “Best Question in the World.”  I would like to ask you to do the same.  Please watch the slide show below and at the very least complete “the best question in the world” in the comments.  Please don’t be shy, it will take you just a couple of minutes 😉


  1. I’ll go first…
    What would happen if I quit teaching? I have been thinking a lot about that as I become more of a pawn in the system, and slowly turned into a data driven robot. I think of all the things I would rather do instead of my current job in its current state. I can’t get past the “This will happen if…” So in the last week I have been thinking real hard…What would happen if I used my creativity to twist those data driven activities into my own funky unit plans? Maybe I don’t have to accept “defeat.” Maybe I can successfully test to the test with out it feeling like I am. If I can hide a bag of carrots in a meat loaf for my kids, I can certainly figure out a way to make the constant “self-to-text” connections we have to do for our state tests taste like a candy cane 🙂

    1. Just watch your veggie to meat ratio! Remember the “green cookies” that had to be eaten in the dark?! LOL!

      You can do anything.

      You can certainly “use your creativity to twist those data driven activities into your own funky unit plans”.

      What would happen if you do is closely related to what would happen if you didn’t!

      A risk is spending too much time in the head, working out the answers…as you know, we sometimes just need to DO to find out. We don’t have to have the answer to the question before we DO the thing.

      Those of us who walking around with squashed Creative Beast on our pants can get hung up on the THINK and the so wanting to DO it RIGHT. In our heads, in our heads! So, ask “What would happen if” and then ask “What is one little thing I can do to find out?”

      Trust that ‘failure’ at the thing can lead to even better stuff! It’s OK. It’s ALL OK. We are conducting research to answer what would happen if.

      One little thing.

      Do it.

      Prepare to be amazed!

      ( I cannot believe I am posting this, but here goes!….submit)

  2. What would happen if…I was as brave outside of my classroom as I am in my classroom? I might actually sing in public, dance like no one was watching, tell more jokes, laugh more at myself. I also might be more apt to convince others to do the same.

  3. What would happen if…I decided to be completely and utterly vocal about my views about education and how some of my colleagues think students should be taught? Whew!

    They might run me out of town! It is the diplomatic part of me that keeps my mouth shut, instead working to change things from the inside. But there are some days when I feel like it is going to slowly, change isn’t happening as fast as it should.

  4. What would happen if….
    I started taking pictures, created a blog, and posted every day for a year?

    ~I’m still seeing new answers to that question almost every day – answers I could *never* have predicted.~

    What would happen if…
    I did it again for another year?

    1. If you did it again for another year, your photography would continue to improve, you’d continue to have moments to reflect on the wonders of your life, and someone who still cares about you would be able to still feel “connected” 😉

  5. Along the same lines as several other commenters…
    What would happen if I didn’t edit myself in the real world the way I do on my blog?

    I suppose it’s one thing to write about how things should change behind the virtual curtain and another to work out in the real world to make that change happen. Sounds like a New Year’s resolution forming. 🙂

    Thanks for the mental nudge, Paul, and the link to the slide show. I’ll definitely be using it.

  6. What would happen if I ignored the testing mentality (must administer this test now, and that test next week, and whatever you do, don’t forget about or fail to mention at least 10 times per day that big state test coming in April…)? What if I devoted my time instead to teaching content to the best of my ability, using a variety of tools including technology? Would my students be able to see themselves as more than their test scores? Would they take something away from this year in my classroom beyond the fact that they moved from from a level 1 to a 2, or a 2 to a 3? What can I do to make that happen?

  7. What if for the next year I keep a WHAT IF creative/curiosity journal? What if I challenge myself to do something creative each day and document it? What if I show my students what I’m doing and it helps their creative beast come out and play?

  8. What if my students had happy homes, healthy meals, and financial stability?

    What if I did more to involve their parents and help with at least some of those issues?

    (I’m really impressed with the questions here. Especially that people seem so focused on what if they changed something in their lives. I find it so much easier to think about things I can’t control. I appreciate the push to think about what I can.)

  9. What would happen if I introduced this concept to my Grade 1 kids and just let them run with it? It’s an exciting but scary prospect.
    I can imagine we would have a huge amount of fun, learn a lot of exciting things that we would never have found out otherwise. But at the same time, part of me is thinking: What would happen if one of my student’s took this idea too far? At this age, do they have the understanding that some of the things they might want to be could be too damaging or dangerous to others or themselves? Or perhaps this is just another opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

  10. What would happen if I left Turning Point Learning Center? What would happen to the school; the kids; the parents? To my “base?” To the staff?

    What would happen if I left all that I’d been preparing for over the past 20 years and took a different job, teaching teachers? To leave my eager, open-minded babies to work with surly adults?

    What would happen if I didn’t take this opportunity? I’ve always taken the train moving out of town when it had my name on it; it’s always moved me in the right direction that I didn’t know I wanted to go toward. And this train certainly has my name on it.

    What would happen if I got there and found I missed the kids too much? What would happen if I took this train and missed out building the TPLC High School using the Life Practice Model?

    Oh, was I supposed to answer these questions here too? I guess my questions are less “what would happen if” and more of “what will happen when…”

    You want to come run a school, Paul?

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