In today’s episode, we chat about the Triple P Cycle - the cycle of thinking and acting we go through when working towards minimalism in education. We discuss the different phases of the cycle as well as how important it is to be flexible in our approach to making these changes to our work. Today’s pare down pointer is a timely reminder about reflection!
Today's episode is sponsored by Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® - The secret to a school environment where all want to be! Keep your staff’s fire for educating blazing and your students achieving with research supported keynotes, workshops, and coaching that skyrocket Success Skills, Close the Learning Gaps through Micro-Skills, and amplify Engaging Instruction.
In this Episode, ee discuss the different phases of the cycle, As well as how important it is to be flexible in our approach to making these changes in our work. Today's Down Pointer is a timely reminder about reflection, CAST. Today, it's just me and Tammy sharing with you today. We're going to talk about the Triple P process.
How are you, Tammy? I am feeling pretty good. Christine, how are you today? I am good. Thank you. So we've talked previously about the triple P framework, thinking about our purpose, our priorities and how to pare down. So today we want to share a little bit more about the triple P cycle. So we came up with the triple P cycle, because we noticed that as we are working through the framework and the funnel.
And making these changes towards a more minimalist approach in education, we feel like the same sort of experiences are going to occur over and over again. There's a little, little bit of repetition in, in the phases that we feel like people are going to go through, , towards making this change. So in our cycle, do you feel like there's a really good place for people to start or do you feel like it's, very open ended?
I feel like it depends on people's, maybe their knowledge base first about minimalism and their comfort level with implementing some kind of change. But we know that cycles are a natural part of life and learning. So if we think about, you know, the life cycle of a frog that we learn about when we're little and, , just the way the seasons change and.
The, the processes that we go through to, to learn something new and start implementing it. It's this cycle that we're always going through in our lives, whether we recognize it or not, but it's happening. And it's, we see it in our classrooms all the time when kids are in their learning processes. So as adults, when we are thinking about Bringing in something and I don't want to call it new because we don't really approach it in that way But it's a shift in mindset.
We do have to recognize that there's this cycle of learning happening for us And so if someone doesn't know anything about minimalism, which sometimes happens in Like a conference session. Let's say I'll always ask people like what do you raise your hand if You've never heard of minimalism or,, you just have heard the word, like what's kind of your knowledge base to start out with?
Mm-hmm. and there's a lot of people that don't really know anything about it, so, which is great that they came out of interest., so that's, that's a good place for people to start is at the, an ideation. Phase where, which is kind of like, we'll call it a beginning if you don't have the knowledge base, so just gathering some ideas and knowledge about what minimal, minimalism is generally.
Because we know that there are some myths and misconceptions about a lot of things, right? , but, but people do kind of think of minimalism as like a thing you can't do in education because we just have, there's just too many things. But when you start to understand. The basic principle of like, just finding meaning in what you're doing and understand that idea as a place to begin that, , it is a good place to start just to build out what your, your understanding of the idea is.
Yeah, I think that's a good place for people who. Don't have a very big knowledge base, let's say. Yeah, for sure. So that ideate phase of the cycle. , yeah, we're, we're thinking about the situation. We're thinking about minimalism. And to me, I often think about that phase as well as being. Actually acknowledging that a lot of what we're facing is not reasonable.
Not necessarily for everyone in every situation, but I think that generally for a lot of educators, , what we are expected to do within our, allocated work hours is, is really. Not particularly reasonable. So that to me, that's part of the process as well of like realizing, it's not just me as a personal failing, not being able to keep up with this, but actually we need to make a change.
We need something to shift here. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly. This would be an important thing for us to do, which lends itself well to the Triple P framework, right? So we're asking the questions about, like, what is the point of what we're doing? What is our purpose here? What are the priorities in that? So when we start asking kind of those higher level, like those upper funnel, You know, if people have seen the funnel in the book, those bigger overarching questions.
And then you can get into like, once you've identified some of that, you can get into some pretty like nitty gritty questions about really specific things about what you're doing in your role. So the questions that you're asking might be, you know, why are we implementing this program? Transcribed I could, you know, it could be a big question like that, or it could be like, how do I feel about this shift that we're making from this to this?
So it could be about an implementation. It could be about some emotions. It could be about students specifically. So, it really depends on kind of the entry point for people. So, you know, are you looking at initiatives? Are you looking at your instructional practice? Are you looking at your curriculum?
And then the questions that you can ask from there depend on on the area that you're focusing on. But asking questions is. One of those things that we wanted our we want our kids to be able to ask good questions, right? Instead of telling them to like don't ask me a question right now because now is not the time but it's always a good time to ask a question particularly if we have a lack of clarity in something or confusion about Anything right?
We don't want to shut down questions with our students and we really shouldn't feel like we're getting Pushed away for asking big questions about what we're doing in our roles. So that that's an important phase. Okay. So we've started with the ideation and considering where we are with everything we've moved into inquiring and asking questions.
Uh, so that then takes us into investigate. So how is that, , conceptually different from the inquiry? Part of the cycle. I feel like these are, very inter. linked some of these pieces and we know that like you and I have taught in IB schools and We're kind of used to using inquiry cycles to guide the learning in the classroom.
And so we know that we can shift back and forth Between parts of the cycle, so it's not necessarily like this linear happening But once you ask some of those big questions or even very pointed questions We get into this phase of like, okay, well, now I need to dig in a little bit deeper and find out more.
So, is this question that I'm asking for my administrator or is this a question that I'm asking myself? Do I bring this to my students or my colleagues? And so, sometimes that investigating is just talking to people and learning more. To get some of those answers to questions. Maybe if you can, it could also just be your own research about something else.
So maybe it is again, just going back to that ideas about minimalism and how you can make some shifts in that and just learning generally, or it could be role specific or situation specific. It depends on what you focused on as your priority, but Thank you. Yeah, there's that back and forth because we know that when you're starting to investigate something or learning about something, more questions can arise.
So. Or we, you know, we do find answers, which is great. But sometimes when more questions arise, it's sort of invigorating because you're like, Ooh, this is, this is an interesting process to be in when you start learning about something and really knowing how it can really impact your practice or. Like you and your role in student learning.
So, , it's a pretty meaty part of the process. I think is that inquiry and investigation. Yeah, sure. Yeah, no, I agree with you. And I think. I think a good thing to remember as well is, yes, there's a lot of people out there in education who, who are talking and thinking about these things, but don't shy away from, you know, reading and listening to people from other fields as well, because I think we can get sort of inward looking a little bit in education, but maybe there are some solutions to what we're doing from, from other worlds and other professions that we could bring into our work as well.
So, Thank you. Yeah, I think, spreading out as wide as you can with those inquiry questions and trying to investigate is, is a very important part, for sure. I think, and you and I talk about this a lot too, just books that we're reading or listening to, and You know, I know that we drop messages to each other about like, Oh, I'm listening to this book and it might be like, it's not even educated, education related, but it has some really important points about, Oh, this is like a good idea for streamlining something or like a real quick, effective way to like, get some communication out.
And we know in education, like we're communicating all the time. It's, it's what we do every day. And, kind of extending where our thinking lies and where we dig is really important because we do, like I remember feeling just so tunnel vision sometimes that I don't see past the four walls of my classroom and I don't even think about what's going on out there.
And that's, it's a good place to be because you're You're focused, but it's, it can be pretty dangerous too, because you can get in a mind spiral. Right. And like, not really know what's going on outside either. So Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, sorry, a little off track there, but that's good. No, that's good. Okay. , so, so there in the cycle, we move into the action, , stage of the cycle.
So this could be the exciting part where we're actually taking all of those. thinking and research and, and actually putting it into action. , but it could also be the, the phase where we feel a little bit, possibly intimidated or a bit nervous as well. Can you talk a little bit about that phase in the, in the cycle?
Yeah, I think. Where did I, I can't remember, I would, I remember hearing or talking to someone about like different types of people and how, you know, you're like kind of an ideator or you're an action taker and, you know, they're like not totally black and white, like one people are one or the other, but I feel like this is another solid entry point for people in the cycle because people are already, some people are already doing these things, right?
Like they've, yeah. Really streamline their systems in their classroom or in their role. They're eager to learn more and they have some knowledge about how they can minimize distractions in their roles. And so they're already kind of in an action phase, which is great. Because this is the place where things happen.
This is where change occurs. And we want everybody to be at this point in some way. Right. So the action for somebody could be a big one, like I'm literally cleaning out every cupboard in my, in my classroom because there's 20 years of collected ancient resources that are just not applicable. Or the action might be, and we go back to that Inquiry, like my action is like, I need to ask some more questions.
I need to find some more things out. But when we get past that into that actual, like, I'm going to do this and people are going to see the change now and we're going to feel the change. It's so impactful and it feels so enlightening. I think when you, when you take like stuff that you've learned and you put it into action and then people respond to it.
Right? Like, wow, that was really cool, or that was a great idea, or I like how you set this up, or the kids had a really great time with this, and it really is a lot of risk taking in that phase, which is uncomfortable for people. Can be, yeah. Yeah, it really can be, but it doesn't have to be. To be that way.
And it doesn't have to be these huge, you know, world changing changes. No, absolutely. Yeah, those small incremental things that you feel initially, but then trickle out into your environment. And it's noticeable for your learners if you're a teacher, or for your staff if you're an administrator. But, it's a really., important part of the process to be able to do those actions where it's noticeable in the environment. And I think, you know, again, we need to feel okay with like stepping back in the cycle as well, , from this action stage. An example I'm thinking of, , you know, not too long ago, I started at a new school.
And I had a plan that I was only going to check my emails at certain times of the day. I wasn't going to let myself be distracted endlessly by my emails. I was going to check them before school and after school. And that's when I dealt with them. And, , and that was my plan and I was excited about it.
, and. You know, because so often your emails as a teacher require you to take next steps, right? It's always adding on to the to do list. It's very rarely just a little bit of information. You often have to respond or add a task to your to do list. But I didn't realize at the time, the context that I was going into.
I had to check my emails multiple times a day because I was getting information about kids getting picked up or kids going home early and things like that. And so there was an expectation that I would be checking my emails during the day. And so I had kind of gone to that action before really understanding my context and knowing.
What my new environment was going to be all about. So I did have to like go back in the cycle and go, okay, I still don't want to be distracted by my emails, but I need a different approach. So what do I, what do I need to do instead? So, I think all the way through this triple P cycle, we need to keep thinking and being comfortable with.
I've tried something. Oh, I'm going to go back again, or I. Asked a question. I didn't get the answers I was thinking about. So we can always step back and forth, , depending on what is working for us. Yeah. , and that brings us all the way around the cycle to advocate,, which of course we are always actively trying to do spread the good word about minimalism in education.
Can you tell us a little bit about that part of the cycle? Yeah, I think that, advocacy for anything that is going to make a positive change for educators is something that we just have to always do. And again, it kind of lends itself into that action phase, right? Because advocacy is action. Mm hmm. And we want it to look like...
bringing each other into the process. We want to share our successes when we have been able to like pair something down or refocus on priorities or just notice that you've gained some time back in your day because you said, I'm not checking my email after 5pm and you've just regained some of that time.
So the celebration part I think is really important in advocating for this kind of approach in our roles because we don't celebrate enough. We are really always thinking about what else do I have to do? What else is on my to do list? I forgot to do that. And we just keep beating ourselves down over it.
And it's like, not, they're not life changing things, right? Like I remember, you know, when, when I'm teaching and the kids are, someone's hurt or something. And I'm like, are you, are you bleeding? Are you hurt? You know, like those are big things. If it's something that you can handle on your own, then it's probably fine.
But we really have to focus on the positive because we're just constantly like, Looking at the negative and the things that we have to do to improve, and it's, it's helpful to share the celebrations to bring others in. So when people see other people feeling better, feeling successful, having clarity in what they're doing, other people want to feel that too.
And so the big part is like bring each other in and share the celebration so that others will want to come along with you. And. And make that kind of change, not just for you in your classroom or you in your role, but school wide. And then, you know, good, good news does travel fast, not as fast as bad news sometimes, but it does, but it does, but when people hear about it, they're like, Ooh, I want to do that too.
I want to feel good about what I'm doing. So that advocacy part is really, really critical in this process. Yeah, I agree. For some reason that that quite. I'll have what she's having just popped into my mind when
you were you do have some colleagues who seem to always have a spring in their step and you're like, how are you doing that? Let me, let me have a little bit of your wisdom. Yeah. Right. Yeah, exactly. It's so true. , and I think just thinking now, I know at the end of our episodes, we have. If we're happy to wrap this one up.
I feel good about it. Yes. Yes, definitely. Yeah. , at the end of our episodes, we have a pare down pointer as we were talking, I was thinking like the, the process, the trip or the triple P cycle. Is a long one, right? Like, it's not something that you just start, like, I'm going to start the process the first day of school.
I'm going to end it the last day of school. It's going to be linear. That's not the, it's not the case at all. But I think the pointer there is that you just need points of reflection, like, just. Even if you don't follow the triple P cycle per se, right? Like you don't start with ideating or you don't, you know, pick a, pick a part of that cycle that we've outlined, but just have those points of reflection where you are thinking about the things that you're doing often and not just following it into ruts or being complacent or feeling not good about what you're doing.
So if we just pause to reflect and ask ourself a question, I think that's, that's probably a good pare down pointer, right? Like, just reflect and be thoughtful about, right? Just be thoughtful about the things that we're doing, the things that we're saying, how we're feeling, and Move on from there.
Absolutely. And, you know, we've been talking about all of this stuff for the last couple of years and I, I still find myself going back and thinking about it, you know, especially if I feel like the wheels are falling off a little bit, I'm like, what have I stopped doing that I can bring back in? You know, what, what habits have I let fall by the wayside, that I need to pick back up again.
So it's, yeah, you're never done. It's always, it's always an ongoing, an ongoing thing. Well, I really liked this conversation today. Yeah, me too. That was fun. Thank you. That was a great one. Today's episode is sponsored by Ignite Your Shine, the secret to a school environment where all want to be. Keep your staffs fire for educating blazing and your students achieving with research supported keynotes, workshops, and coaching that skyrocket success skills, close the learning gaps through micro skills and amplify engaging instruction.
Be sure to join Tammy and Christine and guests for more episodes. of the Minimalist Educator Podcast. They would love to hear about your journey with minimalism. Connect with them at PlanZPLS on Twitter or Instagram. The music for the podcast has been written and performed by Gaia Moretti.