Monday, 9 March 2009

Look Forward... But Not Too Far Ahead!

After an eventful weekend, Monday morning loomed bright and early.
As I was exiting the train station and walking the familiar route to school, blisters on my feet bothered me, the heat of the day was already palpable, and my mind was still hazy from sleep.

I can't wait for work to be finished today!

What was that?

Had I just been looking forward to the end of the day when my workday had not yet even begun?

Immediately I corrected my line of thinking.

Let's get excited about what I'll be doing in school today.
Let's see.... I'm going to see the students I love, I'm excited to teach them about verb tenses (YES!!), we appoint a new student of the week....

Soon, I realized that I felt more positive about my day.

It's only natural (as human beings who get bored and tired) to want the workday to be over.
But if you want to have good workday in the first place, LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
Concentrate on finding the positive things that motivate you and will help you enjoy the day.
Before you know it, the day will be over, and you would have had a great day.

Have a great week everyone! :)

Friday, 6 March 2009

Keeping Humble

I learn a lot... a LOT from my kids.

This week, I've learned that humour cures almost any situation.
I'm also learning to give them more credit - to look beyond the outward behaviour and see the inner needs.

Kids try hard.
Yes, they are ego-centric and selfish-absorbed little creatures... but at the same time, they crave our love, attention and approval.
This need for approval drives their behaviour so strongly.
Yet in every child, the way they show this need is different.
Some show it in more endearing ways than others.

But at the end of the day, they all want the same thing:
To be loved.
OK, maybe not just to be loved... but also to be loved in spite of who they are - how they look, how they speak, what they wear, mistakes they make, words they say.

By watching them, I feel greatly humble and sometimes even chastised.

It is indeed a privilege to deal with children everyday.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Mental Preparation....

Teachers have a lot to of preparation to do on a regular basis.
Much of our time is spent researching, planning, organizing, gathering materials, making things, and then doing it all again week in and week out.

And THEN we have to actually execute the lesson.

Add crazy shouting kids who have a 2 minute memory span for any instructions given, and dealing with various other crazy things that pop up, trying to cover content in the expected time, attending meetings, dealing with parents,... not forgetting all the "debriefing" and reflection we are supposed to do AFTER a lesson, yes, teachers can be pretty mentally exhausted by Fridays.

So I generally try to make sure I'm READY for the week - Sunday is usually my most laid back day, and despite feeling generally depressed that the gorgeous weekend has just passed, I try to look forward to the new work-week ahead.


I think about my kids - not the stuff that gets me antsy and frustrated, but rather then things that make me happy.
Like how one of my kids just wrote in his journal on Friday that he has been very concerned about me when I missed school cuz I was sick. Then he said he loved me.

I also try to get myself excited about any projects I'm working on.
For instance, this week, I'll be issuing my 2nd class newsletter.
Also, I'm taking the student support centre "public" - regular opening hours will finally be starting.
Lastly, I run through the lessons I have to cover tomorrow in my mind.
No surprises.
Everything about teaching has to be intentional.

Most importantly, I make sure that when i start my day tomorrow, it's with a smile - whether I feel like it or not, a smile is a powerful thing.

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