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Return of Rob & BrainBuffet Pedagogy

A word from Rob Schwartz (Founder)

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth; one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

 – M Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled

I wanted to make a quick post to say hi, and share a couple of videos I recorded just before leaving for the hurricane, one about the server stuff and a second, longer video to just encourage you to use opportunities like these to demonstrate to the students how a professional reacts under pressure. Use these experiences to discuss how you as an educator and a school had to adjust to COVID when that started. Then learning from home. Then figuring out all the quirks of that new adjustment. As one of my favorite books begins (quoted above), “Life is difficult”.
It’s been a while since I was active at Brainbuffet — and frankly, it’s been a weird few years for me. In the last 36 months I’ve done all the stressful things in life: Sell a house, buy a house, move to an island where a different language is spoken, get married, and become an “empty-nester.” On top of all of this a lot of strange health issues that seemed to appear from nowhere, have no cause, and then randomly disappear… only to have another strange symptom pop up and take its place. I lost a third of my body weight. Frankly, I didn’t think I’d be here to write you in 2022.
… which makes me super excited to be writing to you about server glitches in the beginning of the school year!!! Sure puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it?  Like the chaos of my life the last few years, we had a few weeks of a server glitch that caused you guys not to be able to log in. I wanted to personally apologize for that and introduce myself to many of our new customers who are unfamiliar with my approach to the classroom. Unfortunately, life is seemingly full of stressful challenges that never end. It’s life. Especially in a technical field with software that gets updated when you’re sleeping and the next day it’s almost as if someone came in and rearranged your digital office. Below is a video that I recorded for you just before flying out of BB World Headquarters in Puerto Rico (aka my kitchen table) to avoid a Hurricane. Puerto Rico still is without power.

Here’s my challenge for our educators, and in turn, I’m going to give you a chance to challenge me. Based on how things have been I’m going to get back in the saddle slowly, but I’d love to be involved again, especially in ways that give you guys resources and ideas about teaching, learning, career, and self-development. I’m not sure the best way back, but I’d like to open a dialogue and get a chance to hear from you guys again about how we can help you as educators create the most incredible year for you and your students.
My goal is to prepare you for the real world- which is WAY different than the one I grew up in. Teachers, the students today deal with a much different school system and world than you or I had to deal with. The kids had 2 years of #PandemicLife- can you imagine that mess in your high school experience? Add to that the new concerns and issues of todays kids: Social media pressures, school shootings, friends and family lost from the pandemic, and social isolation at the most socially critical time of life, None of us dealt with any of this when we were in High School… we don’t magically know how to deal with it as adults, even with a teaching degree.
But for the kids, no matter how jaded, sophisticated, or numb they are acting- this was a heavy couple of years for the kids as well. Let’s keep that in mind. These kids are going to run the world that your children and grandchildren will live in. It’s up to you, teachers, to prepare the students in your class to run the world that is coming- not the one we lived in.
It’s not that kids have changed- the world has changed and many of us have stayed still. We are preparing students for a world that no longer exists and will never exist again. There’s no going back in time, no matter how bad we wish it was different — the world is hurtling forward through time and space. It’s a different world, how do we prepare kids for a world that we are completely unable to predict?

We have to teach kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

We need to give inspiration as well as instruction. We need to teach kids not to follow directions but to think creatively and problem solve with efficient skills and effective strategies. Much of this I covered in my “boot camp” the first 3 weeks of school. This was where I set up the atmosphere and procedures that made my classroom not only popular with the students to learn in, but also fun for me to teach in.
Let’s face it, they don’t pay us enough to make teaching miserable. We control the classroom culture together- students and teachers- let’s make it fun and engaging.
Let me know how we at BB can help by sending us feedback through the contact form. I’ll read all of them and get back to you guys in a couple of weeks. How can we help support you in your classroom?