How many of you were thinking you should have done one more task before leaving school recently? Or, felt like you should have done more work while at home over the weekend? Whether school-related or personal, I’m guilty of feeling guilty every day. Whether it is guilt, overwhelmed feelings, or just the unknown, overcoming the thoughts are tricky. I realized that once I embrace my inner critic and process the feelings slowly the guilty feeling can change to successful thinking. I bet you are asking, “How!?!?” Here are some of the tips I found that helped me.
Tip #1 – Give Yourself Grace
We can’t do it all right away. Mindset and beliefs are a huge part of our views of reality in what we can accomplish in a day, along with how it’s all done. I had to prioritize my lists and allow myself some flexibility to not get everything done right away. I also realized perfection was impossible with some things. Once I gave myself permission to let some tasks be imperfect, I felt a relief! Now if only I can remember to do this in the future…
Tip #2 – Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Whether it is asking for help or clarification, asking our colleagues for support is key. I realized if I never ask, it usually ends up taking double the time and is more difficult. I also don’t have to be the expert of all the things. Learning takes time upfront, but in the end can pay off.
A prime example is in collaborative planning. “The support of our colleagues is what makes our jobs easier” (Brueggeman, 2022). In planning conversations about students and instructional next steps, we can narrow in on needs and ideas faster with the helpful ideas of other teachers. We just have to ask!
Tip #3 – Dig Deep
This connects with asking questions in a way that I first came upon the thought of digging deep after watching a Simon Sinek video, What Makes the High Performing Teams in the World (2020). At first, I thought this was more for those trying to make it onto a team or in a new role. After watching and then exploring the thought further, I discovered it is two-fold. On the one hand, working together is key. But, we also have to dig deep when things get hard.
This means a great deal to me and connects to many thoughts. It is ok to take learning something new slower than others. It is also ok to spend some time upfront being strategic with teaching certain skills or concepts. The important part of the process is to be sure to go deep with the learning, and teaching, even if it gets hard. After considering this, I related it even more to asking students questions too. So, here are 2 possible questions from my book, Student-Centered Mentoring, to help ‘students’ dig deep while working collaboratively:
- How can you teach students to give effective feedback?
- How can you get students to do the heavy lifting of thinking and be in charge of their own learning?
What if you are in another role within education and you don’t have a classroom of students? Consider who you support as your ‘students.’ This tip also applies to being strategic in working towards success by taking one step at a time. And then revisit tip #1!
As you make your way into this school year, remember how you can make your new normal. In connection with that open mindset, I am already working on the next post and a video that will showcase information and tools related to collective mindset.
- Sinek, S. (2020). What Makes the Highest Performing Teams in the World. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP9jpxitfb4.
- Brueggeman, A. (2022). Student-Centered Mentoring. Thousand Oaks, California.