Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Power of "NO"

On my continuing exploration of the UNCLUTTERER's Plan for a Remarkable Life.. (see July 28 post)

#6. "Say No to the stuff that doesn't matter...."

Where to start? Well, what DOES matter comes to mind so easily.... most educators can easily think about student achievement and consider the important elements that create, support, and improve it. It's usually a fairly linear process: I can say yes to staying late or coming in early to better organize my three different curriculums in various skill levels, using research based teaching strategies. I take the extra time to learn the complicated new technologies that promise to streamline my IEP writing (I complain, but I learn.) Mentoring new teachers, working most evenings at home, sharing my classroom management expertise with my peers--YES,YES,YES.

What to say NO to?

NO mindless griping.
NO gossiping of any sort.
NO wasting time checking my email more than 3 times a day.
NO trying to do everything on my own.
NO to anything that refocuses my attention away from my students and their success.

And if we accept that a happier teacher is a better teacher --- is there real research on this?---this year I vow to say yes to
*Getting to know 3 people I don't already know well.
*Thanking more often the ladies who provide admin assistance.
*Take a few minutes of my rather short lunch break to be alone, quiet my mind, breathe in/breathe out. Breathe in again.

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