Partnering with MAD* Strength

This year, I had a couple exceptionally MAD* moments at Fusion inspired by our keynote speaker, Greg Bell. One was a shift in how we think and the importance of what questions we ask. He talked about how we tend to focus on what’s going wrong. We ask, “How’s it going?” And most answer with what’s going wrong. What if we shift that to asking “What’s going well?”  What if we started and ended every day recognizing what’s going well – personally and professionally – and give THAT some attention. A simple tool that could completely change the conversation direction and our mindset.

Those in attendance and others may be aware of Greg’s book – Water the Bamboo – and he discussed bamboo in his talk. Giant timber bamboo grows like no other plant in the world – up to 90 feet in 60 days! What’s more amazing? That it takes at least three years of watering and tending to it faithfully before you see ANY evidence of growth. (Perhaps educators can relate?) During the season of no visible growth, the foundational root system for each tree is growing to the size of a football field! The bamboo forest protects the land and allows the ground to withstand floods, high winds and torrential rains.

Partnering with MAD* Strength

Greg had everyone stand up, join hands and stretch across the ballroom like a bamboo forest connected by that root system. He even had us all swaying in the wind!  Roots strong and intertwined, we never toppled.

I was struck at how symbolic this was for PARTNERING to help all kids learn and the power in partnership.

Our partners left Fusion excited and enthused “…to get back and share what we have learned because we have only begun to scratch the surface of what MAP can help us achieve.”

We *Make A Difference. So don’t forget to ask yourself everyday “what’s going well”, because chances are – A LOT!


Build math confidence

Lots of kids dread math. You can help them love it. Get advice on how from our Teach. Learn. Grow. math experts in our latest ebook.


Blog post

For policymakers

There’s a lot policymakers can do to support schools during COVID-19. We talked with experts Evan Stone and LaTanya Pattillo about what to focus on during SY21–22.

Read the post


The ABCs of reading

Effective literacy instruction must rely on the science of reading and best practices in balanced literacy.

Learn more


Sign up for our newsletter and get recent blog posts—and more—delivered right to your inbox.