Friday, January 2, 2015

If you do what you've always done…

Photo by Christina Nosek. Text added on the PicLab app.

Some have cited Henry Ford as the original speaker of this powerful phrase.  Others credit Mark Twain.  More recently, Tony Robbins offered up a version.  Regardless of who to credit with this quote, I have decided that this will be my mantra for 2015.  It's not necessarily a New Year's Resolution, but rather it's a reminder of how to proceed.  I've already considered how I will apply this to my training for the upcoming Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in June, how I will apply it toward the relationships in my life, and how I will use it during my long Bay Area daily commute (which has been the bane of my existence for years).  However, I now challenge all of us to take it a step further.  How can we apply this idea to our classrooms and our schools?  How can we take this idea to help our students be the best they can be?  How can we apply this to help our students achieve more and be happier in the school setting and in life altogether?

I challenge all of us (including myself) to take a hard look at how we operate in our classrooms and in our day to day interactions with students, other teachers, administrators, parents, and everyone else in our school settings.  If something isn't working, rather than looking to the other person, let's start looking to ourselves.  How can we change it to get the results we want to see?

When something isn't going the way it should be going, just repeat the mantra:
If I do what I've always done, I'll get what I've always got.

For example, if a student is not enjoying reading, and does not see himself as a reader, rather than blame the student or parents, ask, "What is something different I can do to help reach this student?"  If that doesn't work.  Ask yourself again.

If communication with a parent has been difficult and ineffective, ask, "How can I reach out to this parent in a different way?"

If you don't see the results in your students that you want to see- even though you are sticking to the prescribed program, I challenge you to find a way to work around it.  Ask, "What can I do differently to make this situation work for my students?"  Then, do it.

There are so many scenarios where this simple phrase can make an enormous difference in the lives of our students (and ourselves).  Let's take the power back, stop placing blame, stop making excuses, and start making change.  I vow to do this, and invite you to do it as well.

Happy New Year, Friends!  

1 comment:

  1. Christina,
    Thank you for this post! Your encouraging words hasn't come at a better time. Its awful how we can get into a funk that causes us to give up! My mindset hasn't been the best this school year with all the added pressure and stress that has been put on me. Plus my classroom environment has been a struggle with behavioral issues and trying to motivate some students to want to put any effort into their work. The lack of care has caused me to lower the expectation bar but I feel they have conditioned me that is all they can produce. So my challenge for the remaining school year is to make the strong push to find the change that "I" need to do, so I feel that I gave my all to these students!
    Thanks again!


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