Improving my Teaching Practice

Ho-Hum Mode

where's the switch?

This past weekend I got the privilege to go to the RIE conference in LA. It was so wonderful, thought provoking and inspiring. One of the many things I learned was not to travel for a conference and move on the same weekend (I will post more about the conference in the next few weeks). I did take an extra day off but when I returned to work on Tuesday I felt more like a zombie than myself.

I was exhausted and zombie-ish and I learned that it might be better for me to take that extra day, I’m not one to call out unless I’m throwing up or have a fever, so that’s a big stretch for me. I was so out of it and not myself that it didn’t really feel fair to my co-teachers or to the children. I felt like I sat around all day, not helping, got grumpy and then finally at some point towards the end of the day something switched. It was literally like someone flipped a switch and I went into a mode of “I don’t care.” In one of Janet Lansbury’s posts she talks about having a ho-hum stride when approaching a toddler who is testing. I like to think of this “I don’t care” mode as my ho-hum mode. I don’t have as many expectations, really I only keep the realistic ones, I let the children do more of the things they ask to do (instead of trying to be in control all the time) and I just feel calmer. Over all, I feel like I move at a more respectful and slower pace that matches with the children. I move at a pace that I strive and work for when I have all of my energy. Waiting is the hardest part, for me, and when I go into this ho-hum mode it just comes naturally.

So my big question for myself is: how do I turn on the switch?

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