I recognized myself right there in the first paragraph of chapter 18. Right away. That busy, stressed, multi-tasking teacher barraged by interruptions and getting annoyed. Yep, me. Me as a teacher and me as a parent. Those times when I slow down and let the "interruptions" take over and become teachable moments are so important - and I even recognize them when they happen. The problem is, I don't let them happen nearly enough.
While reading this chapter I was reminded about the one little (BIG) area I still need to work on after 15 years teaching - control. Or rather, letting go of the control. I know I could feel so much better about every day if I just shook a little more of it off. When I'm not concerned about deadlines, data collections, standardized testing, that's when I'm more present with my students. And when I'm more present, the magic happens. Angela writes, "The end goal for a day of teaching can't be to "cover" a certain amount of curriculum; to cover means to obscure, and our goal is to illuminate. We must stay focused on illuminating the curriculum for students, and that can only be done by making a connection with them." And that's it - that's exactly it. I already know it ... but how do I get there?
- celebrating small moments of accomplishment
- look for the light bulb moments and focus on a child you can really help
- reframe your work to recognize and appreciate the magnitude of what you do
Being truly present allows you to see what YOU are doing - what YOU have accomplished. Really, truly, see it. So, smile, be present, and remember that you enjoy teaching every day ... no matter what.
You can read a little bit more about Unshakesable and the messages behind the chapters in the book at Angela Watson's blog: The Cornerstone. It was EXACTLY what I needed to read at this time in the year.