I am loving this book!! Several friends and I are reading it and sharing our thoughts on different chapters. Chapter 19 is the second to last chapter and it's fantastic! It's called Re-Write the Story You Tell Yourself About Teaching and it's something I've been working on doing for a while.
A little backstory: About 4 years ago my mindset about teaching had become very negative. It a little uncomfortable to admit that but it's true. Testing, schedule requirements, a consultant with specified things we should do all attached to points and a score sheet to reflect her 10 minute visit, and a school climate that seemed very negative just didn't add up to enjoying my job much. I wanted my situation and my classroom to be different. So in early summer 2011, spending lots of time at my computer I discovered teachers blogs and found many teachers out there who love what they do, put a lot of extra effort into their class and school, and were doing such creative things. So I started my blog. I met other teachers with similar philosophies and goals. Those teachers shared PD books like Ron Clark's No More Molasses Classes. That was the start of an exciting change for me. I guess that's when I started to re-write my teaching story.
Back to the book: Angela Watson writes that "your mindset will keep pulling you back to the same story and old patterns of behavior." So she says, "you can re-write those stories about how you are helpless and powerless, and start telling yourself that you can change things that are not working in your life. You can write an empowering story that you will enjoy living."
So she asks 3 questions:
What is the story you're telling yourself about teaching?
How are you justifying your negative stories about teaching?
What is the story that will produce the results you want in life?
Boy, if that's not food for thought, what is?
Reading through this chapter was very re-affirming.
I thought about story I was telling myself 4 years ago and how I justified those thoughts. I'd rationalized how it was outside influences that caused my negativity or that I was "just venting" not complaining.
I also thought of things that have helped me re-write my story (which is still a work in progress, and probably always will be) and what I want my story to be. My classroom has become a much more exciting, dynamic environment in the last few years and my teaching strategies have changed to accomodate much more movement and partner/group work. Now my students are doing math work stations, Daily 5, writer's workshop, and doing a lot of learning through playing games and working together. This next year I want to work on having more time at home that I'm not working on school work so I get more things done around the house, more time to exercise, and more time to read for pleasure.
Enough about my story. Now I'd love to hear from you about your "story" and how you might re-write your story.
I hope you're enjoying this book study. I'll be back with the last chapter tomorrow.
If you missed chapters 17 & 18 you can check out Sandy's posts on her blog