Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flipping Awesome Physics with an Asynchronous Flipped Gameful Mastery Learning Classroom

Jonathan Thomas-Palmer on episode 298 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Jonathan Thomas-Palmer teaches physics. Students start with a zero and level up as they use videos, one on one help, and game-based mastery to master physics.

Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online PD courses for K-12 teachers. Go to and use the code COOL20 at checkout for 20% off any course.

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Enhanced Transcript

Flipping Awesome Physics with an Asynchronous Flipped Gameful Mastery Learning Classroom

Link to show:
Date: April 25, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Jon Thomas-Palmer from Michigan about physics.

Now, Jon, you have recently implemented an asynchronous, flipped, gameful, mastery learning classroom.

OK. Let’s break it down.

Jon: (laughs)

Vicki: That is a really long set of five words there.

Jon: Yes it is.

Vicki: Help us understand. What is it?

What is asynchronous, flipped, gameful, mastery learning?

Jon: OK. So I flipped my classes starting in 2013.

The basic concept there is you’re taking the lectures and you’re putting those at home, and the stuff that is normally done at home is now done in class. That’s the basic idea of a flipped classroom.

One of the things I was searching for with a flipped classroom was how that was eventually going to change my classes. It took me a long time to find it.

I found it in the idea of gameful learning, so we’ll start with that piece… which is… (sigh)… (laughs)…

Gameful learning…

School is already a game. It’s basically admitting that school is a game and making it very clear to the students what the rules of the game are.

So at the start of second semester, I laid out the five or six rules of the game.

The first one is that everybody starts out with a zero… which is an entirely different way of looking at grading.

So everybody starts with a zero, and you add points. Rather than getting percentages on assignments, you get points on assignments.

Your grade never goes down. Your grade only goes up.

This necessitates knowing every assignment that is going to be assigned for the entire semester, and providing the students with all of those assignments right at the beginning… which was one of the major challenges of this.


Vicki: Yeah! And how do you give parents a progress report…

Jon: Yeah, right so well when…

Vicki: … when you’re halfway through, and they’re only at a 50 or whatever?

Jon: Yeah, we’ll get there.

So basically they know how many points they need, in order to get what particular grade.

They have mandatory assignments, and then there are optional assignments.

There’s a recommended order to go through all the assignments in, and there are different levels. So there’s the “Work and Energy” level, the “Power and Work Due to Friction” level, the “Momentum and Impulse” level as you can imagine.

The asynchronous part…

So students go through the level, and they then decide what assignment they’re going to do every day. So that’s the asynchronous part. We’re no longer all doing the same thing at the same time. The students come in, and they decide what they’re going to do.

It was interesting. For the first two weeks, I would still have students ask me, “What are we doing next time?” Or, “Is it OK if I do this?”

And my answer was always, “I don’t know. What do you think, because you are now in charge of your own learning.”


This has been a challenge for some students, but really, I think, “freeing” for a lot of students, but it’s taken a little bit of time for them to understand that concept.

Vicki: OK, so Jon, I would think this would not only blow the minds of the students, but also your colleagues and maybe your administrators. Is that true?

How did your administrators and colleagues react to this?

Jon: I was very careful to go to my administration before… actually even before I started really working on it. I did some research about it and really learned about it and knew that I wanted to do it, but I made sure that administration was on board before I began actually working on it.

I’ve had some conversations with colleagues, and for the most part, people are very excited about it, because it’s a very different way of looking at education.

And it’s freeing for students as well, because there are no due dates. So students get to decide when an assignment is done, and turn it in.

Vicki: But would you still have certain expectations that they have to meet.

Jon: Oh, yeah! Yeah!

Vicki: You’re keeping them on track, though, right?

How do you monitor student progress?

Jon: Oh yeah! So every day I check in — as you can imagine, I have now more time in class to talk individually with every student. So I check in with every student every day, seeing what they’re doing, and where they are, and whether they’re “on target” for where they need to be.


I had one student last week who was like, “Can you just tell me when things are due?” (laughs)

And I said, “No. But how about you and I sit down with all of the assignments and come up with a schedule for you?”

So we sat down. We printed out all of the assignments for the next, you know, couple levels… and decided, “OK, by Spring Break, you want to be to this point… So let’s figure out what you have to do.”

And he just needed somebody to help him figure out what his schedule was going to be.

I had other students who sat down at the very beginning when I first gave the assignment, they printed out every assignment and decided what to do and when for the entire semester. That was the first thing they did.

Vicki: Do you feel like they’re learning physics better?

Jon: Flat out, yes. I’ll start there. I’ll give one example.

We haven’t done the asynchronous. Let’s just do the flipped.

I’ll get back to your question in just a second.

So the flipped portion is now all the lectures are available, and they can do them wherever they would like. So sometimes they do them at home, but sometimes they do them in class. So it’s interesting how it’s actually brought some of the lectures back in class.

I use EdPuzzle for all of my lessons…

Vicki: Oh! Love it.

Jon: … so I know who has watched what and when, which is awesome..

How do you track mastery?

So the mastery part is one of my favorite parts, which is that they have to get an 80% on the quiz, which comes at the end of every level in order to level up and be able to move on to the next level.

And I’ve always struggled with those students who do OK in class, but they struggle with the quizzes because… that’s just something they struggle with. They struggle with being able to show that they know what they’re doing.

So I have a couple of kids that fit in that category. All through first semester — because I switched at second semester — they were struggling.

So it’s been an, “OK. You got a ‘D’ on the first quiz.”

But it’s no longer an issue of, “That’s a bad thing.”

It’s NOT a bad thing! You know what that means?

“You get to sit with me now during the next class, and I’m going to help you make sure you understand everything that you did there.’”

And after you do quiz corrections — which they work on with me, and I make sure that they understand everything that they’re doing — if you have above an 80%, they can earn back half the points with the quiz corrections.

If you get above an 80%, you get to graduate that level and move on to the next level.

If not, you retake the quiz, and once you get above 80%, you’re good. You can move on.

So… it’s actually been really helpful because it’s targeted those students who are really struggling,and given me more time to work with them.

It’s been really… (laughs)… It’s been really fun!

Vicki: So Jon, do you have some students, though, who like to work together? And do you think they’re — you know, they’re — honest as they do that?

What do you do about students who prefer to work together?

Jon: OK, so one of the great things is that the majority of the work that they do is working together in class. So I’m with them, and constantly checking in with them, and they’re asking me questions.

They’re working together, but… OK, they’re working side by side, I’ll say. But they’re each working individually on their assignments.

Basically, because a lot of the time that they spend working on it is in class with me, I can basically make sure that they’re doing it.

Vicki: So, Jon, what’s the most shocking result of this transformation?

What’s the most shocking result of this?

Jon: (sighs)

Most shocking…

Ahhhh. I would say how freeing it is for the students with their busy schedules.

For example, I have a student who had to be gone for three weeks to do auditions for colleges for music. He’s going to college for flute performance. He had to go to eight different colleges and do auditions. He was gone for three weeks. And so… he’s not behind.

Vicki: Hmm!

Jon: He was able to do a lot of this stuff on his own. And, even though he’s not quite with the rest of the class, he’s not behind because there is no schedule. He’s just catching up right now.

Vicki: Hmm.

Jon: I have another example of a student who (laughs) — actually it was a couple of students who knew they were going to be absent on a particular day. So they actually worked ahead so that they could, on a particular day, do the lab before they left. So that they could work on it while they were gone.

Like that was shocking to me that the kids would have the foresight to say, “OK. We know we’re going to be gone. So let’s work ahead on our own, come in, ask a few questions, and then do the lab.”

Vicki: Wow.

Jon: That’s just awesome.

Vicki: As we finish up…

If you were stuck in an elevator with a teacher who was considering this method of starting at zero and you know, gameful learning, mastery learning…

What would be your 30-second elevator pitch for why this is a great way to run your classroom?

Do you have an elevator pitch for moving to this method?

Jon: It is a great way to run your classroom because it transfers the ownership of the student’s learning to the student. Once the student realizes and comes to term with the fact that they are in control of their own learning, they are much more invested in their own learning and interested in learning.

Vicki: SO!!! This is quite a mouthful.

Asynchronous flipped gameful mastery learning.

Jon: (laughs)

Vicki: It is a fascinating concept, and it is truly a Wonderful Classroom Wednesday today.

I hope that we all think about it. It’s certainly something I’m fascinated with, Jon.

Thanks for sharing it with us!

Jon: Thank you, Vicki. This was a lot of fun.

Vicki: OK!

Contact us about the show:

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted

Non-matching sock wearing proud father of 15 and 13 year old daughters. Maker and wearer of tie-dyes. Part-time high school physics teacher. Owner of Flipping Physics®, a one employee business dedicated to providing the world with free, real, quality, entertaining educational physics videos. Devoted husband of incredible, social worker wife. Teetotaler and drug free. Heck, I don’t even drink coffee. Peace.


Twitter: @FlippingPhysics

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Flipping Awesome Physics with an Asynchronous Flipped Gameful Mastery Learning Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog

Troop vs. Troupe

Another pair of words that often cause confusion among many of us is troop and troupe. While these two terms have different spellings, they share… Continue reading
from English Grammar

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Making Better Videos and Movies with Students

Joe Brennan on episode 297 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Digital filmmaking can successfully be integrated into any class. Learn practical tips and ideas from Joe Brennan for making movies in the classroom.

Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online PD courses for K-12 teachers. Go to and use the code COOL20 at checkout for 20% off any course.

Listen Now


Enhanced Transcript

Making Better Videos and Movies with Students

Link to show:

Date: April 24, 2018

Vicki: Let’s talk about making videos with kids!

Today we’re talking with an expert on the subject, Joe Brennan Creativity and Innovation Specialist. He is in Illinois.

Joe, where do we start, making videos with kids?

Where do you start?

Joe: Anywhere you want to.

I’m a big proponent of using it in any classroom, with any subject.

I teach a graduate class, and I challenge my teachers to do it, regardless of what they teach. The math teachers, the science teachers, the PE teachers complain that it just wouldn’t work in their discipline. After a couple of weeks they figure out, it can!

Vicki: Give me an example.

What would be an example of a video you’ve seen in math or in history?

Give us an example of a video in an unlikely subject

Joe: One of my favorite ones in math that a teacher did was the division sign as Eeyore. It starts out with lonely division sign perched on a chair, I guess.

And it says, [delivered in an Eeyore voice] “Nobody likes me. Every time a teacher says we’re going to divide, there’s a groan in the room.”

Vicki: (laughs)

Joe: Then he kind of becomes the division sign, and describes what you have to do when you divide, and how it’s the opposite of multiplication and things like that. It just kind of puts a human voice (not necessarily a face) on it. But he talks about the application.

So that was, I think, a fourth grade or fifth-grade math teacher.

Vicki: Think about it. I make videos in my classroom and digital film and… you know.

You want to have a purpose, though. So how does a teacher start off finding a purpose, and then helping their kids plan out their video?

How does a teacher begin to structure the purpose and the plan?

Joe: Well… Do they want to review? Do they want to introduce something?

It depends on what class it is.

I go right back to the writing process with this. Whichever model your school uses to teach kids how to write, I always boil it down to the “Tell ‘ems” method.

Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em.
Tell ‘em.

Tell ‘em what you told them.

You’ve got the introduction, body, and the conclusion sort of thing.

But you can do that visually, and it’s much more memorable for the kids when they kind of see it and hear it at the same time.

I downplay using music. It can really be a crutch. We don’t want to make music videos.

Vicki: Joe, take us through an example of how you’ve coached a teacher recently through this process of making videos with their class, and the objectives that you covered.

Give us an example of how you coached some video projects

Joe: We try to employ PBL tactics, whether we’re 100% PBL or not is up for discussion.

But I have a fifth-grade class that just finished that just finished reading Night of the Twisters.

They made videos on disaster preparedness — tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, you name it.

My favorite ones are the ones where the kids kind of do a newscast. They’re at a desk like you see on the nightly news, and then they go to a reporter on the street.

The use a little green screen.

They could be in an earthquake. They could be in a flood. They could be in a hurricane.

Then they talk about what people have in their preparedness kit.

I forget what else they pick up from the novel, but they employ all those things.

I guess there’s a little aspect of a book report in there. There’s a big aspect of current events, and kids making an argument, presenting themselves, public speaking.

Vicki: So, they’ve decided their topic.

How do you help them get ready to shoot?

Are you big on scripting? Storyboarding? How do you help them get ready to shoot?

Joe: The quickest, easiest thing to do is shoot and edit on the computer, iPad, whatever your device is going to be.

The big thing is preparing.

So it’s a pay me now, pay me later, or pay me much later sort of a thing.

We want a script. We want a storyboard.

Of course, you can edit things in post [production.]

But the more you can line up ahead of time, the more you know what’s coming, and what each team member’s part is going to be.

Kids take turns behind the camera or in front of the camera. Or they’re on the side doing some sort of coaching or moving props in.

But definitely, you want a storyboard. You want a script. Keep those separate.

I also like Jason Ohler’s storymap idea

You can almost simply that using the story spine sort of thing, “Once upon a time… Something happened… Because of that…. Then that…” And eventually, you come to the conclusion.

Vicki: You know, the scripting and the storyboarding is something the students really — I know in my classroom — they’ll fight me on it!. But it just HAS to be there. Otherwise, you just end up with a mess.

I don’t know why kids think that they’re just going to go to the next viral YouTube video.

Kids think they can just point and shoot without a plan

And it just doesn’t work that way, does it, Joe?

Joe: Exactly. It’s just like stream of consciousness writing.

Vicki: Yeah.

Joe: If you didn’t have an outline or do a first draft before you put pen to paper, or started typing… it shows.

Vicki: It does. It just turns into a mess!

I think it’s just when we start with video — and I made that mistake early on — I guess it’s kind of ignorance, in some ways. We just don’t know better. Once you know better, you guide your kids through the scripting, through the storyboarding, or use Jason Ohler’s storymap idea.

Hardware and software choices?

And then what do your students shoot on? My students shoot on — I have a Gimble, and they put their phones in it, and we usually rip off of their iPhones or their Droids and we pull it into something called Pinnacle Studio.

So what do you use with kids?

Joe: Oh, Pinnacle Studio. Nice!

We use iPads and iMovie.

Vicki: Awesome! And iMovie is incredible.

So actually shooting on the iPad, and then pulling it right into iMovie, huh?

Joe: Right, and they also have the Do Ink green screen program.

Green screen options

Vicki: Ohhhh! So where’s your green screen at your school?

Joe: Anywhere we want it to be.

Vicki: So is it moveable?

Joe: This was such a big hit with our five language arts teachers that they got their own green screen. I have a portable one I lend out from my center. I also have two green walls in my studio technology office area. They can shoot anywhere.

One of my favorite pictures is — we have an open balcony area, and we’ve got three green screens set up — and kids are using both sides of them at the same time.

Vicki: Wow! Well, how’s that for audio, though, huh?

Joe: Well, that’s a challenge!

Vicki: (laughs)

Tips for overcoming problems with background audio noise

Joe: They have also learned the trick that you don’t have to get the dialogue. You can do a great job with narration. Tell the first person’s story, and your character could be in the picture which your voice is coming sort of in retrospect.

If you watch young Sheldon, I kind of like the way the old Sheldon talks about what Sheldon is going on in the show.

Vicki: Yeah. When you do have actors and you do have audio, that tends to be the most difficult piece of what I do with my students, is capturing that audio. We actually invested in a road microphone set which is pretty expensive to be able to capture that. But it is so difficult to get good sound off your set, isn’t it?

Joe: It is. It is.

I’ve got some iRig mics that — when the kids do their news broadcast sort of thing, they can use. But the more I can get them to narrate their story, have live actors, or have pictures they borrowed from the internet with historical people… and then do a narration in post and use one of the nice microphones or at least get closer to their iPad in a more contained area where they don’t have a lot of the background noise…works much, much better.

And also it helps to make a shorter story.

Shorter is better, and concise is nice.

Really, you just don’t want kids to make something that’s more than three minutes.

And if they can do it in 60 or 90 seconds, that’s even better.

If you’re not fighting dialogue, and people working through their lines — if somebody’s doing it with a narration, you can get the same amount of information, or more information in that short time period.

Vicki: Joe, as we finish up, what’s the simplest way to start?

Simplest way to get up and running?

Joe: You just do it.

But you’ve got to prepare. You’ve got to get that script. You’ve got to get a storyboard, with an idea of what your pictures are going to be. If you’re going to borrow things from the internet or use still pictures or use something else besides live video, get all that stuff lined up first.

Vicki: OK, teachers! So making videos, making digital film is an incredible way to really enhance learning in every subject.

In my own classroom, it’s one of the most exciting things that we do. I’ve actually added another digital film project this spring, just because my students are really in to making digital videos.

It does take a little bit of work, though, and you do have to plan ahead.

Thanks, Joe, for this great advice to help us make better videos with our kids!

Joe: My pleasure!

Contact us about the show:

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford

Bio as submitted

After seeing how well video making worked for his Spanish students, Joe moved from the Spanish classroom to an AV/Media Coordinator position. He is an American Film Institute Screen Educator and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He is currently serving as the Creativity & Innovation Specialist at Meridian Middle School in Buffalo Grove, IL as well as teaching in the Wilkes University Instructional Media Program.


Twitter: @joebjr

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Making Better Videos and Movies with Students appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog

Intermediate Vocabulary Exercise

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate word or phrase. Answers 1. It is very difficult to give objective criticism. 2. Paying taxes is obligatory.… Continue reading
from English Grammar

Cue vs. Queue

The words cue and queue sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. They are what we call homophones. To avoid being confused, we will… Continue reading
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Customized, Practical PD for Teachers: Advancement Courses

Sponsored by Advancement Courses

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Now is the time to plan your professional development for this spring and summer. So, if you’re passionate about learning and want your courses to mean something, Advancement Courses could be a great fit for you.

Advancement Courses teacher Professional DEvelopment

Sponsored by Advancement Courses . For a limited time, the coupon code COOLCAT20 entered at checkout will give followers 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359 total.

What Kinds of Teacher Professional Development Courses Can You Take?

Advancement Courses has 200+ graduate-level, online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. Designed to be more engaging, meaningful, and enjoyable than some courses you may have had in the past, these courses include real feedback.

Because of the practical resources you’ll create, these professional development courses are relevant for your classroom right now. 

What Is the Time Frame for the Courses?

The courses are self-paced and not tied to a semester or physical classroom, so you can study anywhere. They’re relevant for your continuing education, salary advancement, and recertification needs.

Whatever you choose to study, your coursework will lead you through developing tangible products and resources. If you teach, you can use these in your classroom immediately.

Who Teaches the Professional Development Courses?

Experienced facilitators are on hand to guide you through each course. As you work through the course, they’ll answer your questions and give you detailed feedback on the assignments as you complete them.

What Are Some Examples of Courses Teachers Take?

While you can choose from a wide array of courses, here are some examples of current offerings from Advancement Courses:

More than 200 courses are available, so check them out. Remember to use the coupon code COOLCAT20 for 20% off any course!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies that I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post Customized, Practical PD for Teachers: Advancement Courses appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

What To Do When Someone Hates You

You Can Overcome

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

“There is one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing. Say nothing. Be nothing.” says Aristotle. Criticism comes with breaking new ground. Criticism comes with putting yourself out there. But how do you respond when that criticism turns to hatred?

Listen to This Blog Post

Sponsored by Advancement Courses. Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately. Go to and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

Hatred is a hard thing to handle, particularly when you feel it is unjust. But I’m writing this for you today: DON’T LET IT STOP YOU.

what to do when someone hates you

Spread more love than hate

Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, Excerpt from the Speech “Citizenship in the Republic” given at the Sorbonne in Paris, France April 1910

We are all people of the arena. Every human has to cope with this question:

What to Do When Someone Hates You

What do you do when someone hates you?

Be you. But being you will often cause undeserved hate from others.

Hatred is a hard thing to handle. Humans usually possess a “me-centric” view of the world. We’ve all seen how two good people can have a vastly different opinions. It happens. No matter what you do, how kind you are, or anything else, I promise you this: In your human-ness, you will attract haters. No way around it.

Haters are an inevitable part of life if you’re accomplishing anything of worth. You can decide what to do about that.

It will also shock and surprise you just how long some people will nurse hatred. It can be years later and they’re still hanging onto something that you barely remember.

Criticism is not hate

Don’t confuse criticism with hate.  People who care will give advice help you improve.

Tip 1: Not Every Criticism Is Motivated by Hate

A person giving you constructive criticism wants to help you improve and become better.

A hater wants to hurt you and wants you to die.

Determine if love or hate is the basis of the criticism by recognizing who criticized you and how they gave it. What was the intent? Help or harm?

Why Do We Notice the Negative?

You can be in a crowd of ten thousand and give an incredible speech. One critic blasts you on their blog or on Twitter, and what do you notice? You don’t see those hundred positive tweets — you see the one negative.

You can captivate your whole classroom except for one student who has decided to dislike you.  You don’t relish 29 joyful, happy, learning kids — you languish because one student (and usually their parents) doesn’t like you.  (I’ve been there — and goodness –, it’s hard when this happens!)

People will hate you,m rate you, shake you, and break you. But how strong you stand is what makes you.

Tip 2: Reject Critics Math

Jon Acuff talks about this phenomenon in his book Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters calls this “critics math.” Jon says:

1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult

He goes on to tell the story of Larry David, creator of the hit TV show Seinfeld. Larry went to New York and attended a ballgame. When the organizers spotted him in the crowd, they showed his picture on the big screen and played the Seinfeld theme song as the entire stadium stood and applauded.

After the game as Larry walked to his car, a stranger drove by, rolled down his window, and yelled,

“Larry, you suck!”

Which did Larry remember later? The one stranger who said that he sucked.

Are you kidding? One rude person can erase 49,999 giving you a standing ovation?

This math doesn’t make sense.

The first step in overcoming critics math is to realize that you’re doing it and refuse to go there.

Tip 3: Keep Perspective

I deal with the haters by admitting that there’s room enough in this big wide world for both of us.- Good people can dislike me. I can even dislike good people. Good and evil aren’t determined by whether people like you or me. This perspective helps.

I recall a professor in college who drew a little x at the corner of the board. Across the board he drew a cloud.

He points at the cloud and says, “This is the universe.” He walks across the front of the room to the tiny x and tells the class, “This is you.” Then, he says something profound. “Notice that you” (pointing at the x) “are not at the center of the universe” (pointing at the cloud.)

Love is a powerful response to hate.

Love is a powerful response to hate.

Tip 4: Center Your Thoughts in Healthy Ways

Nope. I’m not the center of the universe, and neither are you. But we can choose to center our thoughts daily. When hate rears its ugly head — it hurts us. –  And yet centering our thoughts gets easier with time. Focus on your goals. We’ve got things to get done!

Tip 5: Focus on the Likers,  Not the Haters

Stop focusing on the futile: You probably can’t make the haters like you.

Instead, focus on the people who actually do like you. Spend time cultivating those relationships and perhaps they’ll come to love you (and you them).

Focus on helping and serving others and being kind. Choose to ignore those who may be speaking negatively about you — that can quickly become paranoia. Usually, it turns out that people aren’t even talking about you at all. I hate to tell you what I tell myself: You’re not that important. Keep perspective and keep to your task.

So, decide. We’ve already heard Theodore Roosevelt tell us clearly, “It is not the critic who counts” but why do we give such things power over us? Why should we let haters distract us from living an epic life?

Tip 6: Celebrate Good Times and Progress

My first boss sent a memo to his manager praising my performance. He brought the copy to my desk and I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it.  Then, he told me something I’ll never forget.

“Create an ‘atta girl’ folder for those hard days. They’ll come and you’ll need to remember who you are and who you can be. This is your first ‘atta girl.’ Keep it.”

I still have the folder and made one in Evernote so that I can always get to it. “Atta girl” has pulled me through dark days when I failed at something.

We all fall. I fail. You fail. It’s part of life.

Tip 7: Keep Moving Forward

Failure becomes permanent only if we stop trying.  It becomes success when we learn from it. It also helps to remember the good days when the bad days come.

But let’s be clear about the difference between failure and criticism. Criticism is not failure. Having a hater is not a failure. Being criticized and having a hater is part of being human.


Sweet Revenge.

Dr. Phil Adler, my favorite professor, always talked about racism and sexism and how to overcome the. He’d tell us that there were people who would not want us to be included in conversations because of our gender or race.

“Be so good that they can’t ignore you,” he said.
The best revenge is success and proving them wrong.”

Ever since that moment in class, I’ve repeated this thought when faced with a hater targeting me or my gender.

Tip 8: Be Excellent in Your Work.

Your best revenge against haters is proving them wrong. Succeed and work your best to do a fantastic job at whatever you’re called to do.

Some people want swift justice because their me-centered world demands it. Well, life is a marathon not a sprint. Be a turtle (as I share in Chapter 13 of Reinventing Writing).


Who Hating Really Hurts

Hating hurts the hater most of all.  I read a story of the freed slave Frederick Douglass riding a train through Pennsylvania. He was told to ride with the luggage,  and several white passengers came back to the luggage car to express how upset they were. Douglass responded by telling them that he was not degraded but that those who did this to him were degrading themselves for treating a fellow human being with disrespect. (Paraphrased from a story included in Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington.)

Tip 9: Commit Not To Hate

Hating is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Hating is like tying a dead body to your back — the body doesn’t care that it’s lashed to you, but you bear the burden.

Hating hurts the hater most of all.

When you are bothered by a person’s hate, it gives them power over you. They can rejoice because they ruined your day. Their purpose is wounding you and causing you pain, and they’d probably be happy only if you were dead. Since there’s nothing you can do to make them happy you have to learn to live with it!

Tip 10: Live Life!

And live with it you do! But do more than just live — thrive and succeed and enjoy your life. Fulfill your mission and spend time your loving the 99.9% of people who don’t have a problem with the fact you’re breathing air at this moment.

Life is too short to make a big deal about a small person. And hate does exactly that — it has a way of making the person on the receiving end feel smaller and less incapable of success.

So, my friends — forgive and move on. Do whatever it takes, but let go of hate. If someone hates you, sing the song from Frozen and  “let it go.”

Haters are gonna hate. The question is: what will you do about it?


The post What To Do When Someone Hates You appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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