Friday, March 19, 2010

Like a Dormant Branch Awaiting Spring

Have you ever found yourself doing the very things you resolved you never would?  This month I was reflecting on lessons I had learned from my worst teachers and wrote a piece entitled My Worst Teachers: Lessons They Taught a Future Educator.   But shortly after completing the article I was convicted.   The awful tendencies that I noticed in my most unhelpful teachers could sometimes be said of me.  I was making the same mistakes I tried so hard to avoid!  They were not as characteristic of me, I think, when I was in the classroom, but rather, in my current profession of household management and raising my children.

Creating Conversation in Class: Student-centred Interaction (Professional Perspectives)

I used to write book reviews on EFL teacher resource books.   Now I realize I must take my former zeal for professional development and apply it to my current occupation.  To grow now, one thing I should be doing is reading and reviewing books to spur my professional development as a parent and keeper of the home.

Preschooler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games & Activities To Occupy 3-6 Year Olds                           Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood

There are two books that spring to mind immediately.  The Preschooler’s Busy Book, by Trish Kuffner, is a resource book of activities that I ordered recently and received two days ago.  Another book, Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood, by Jamie Martin, is still on my high priority wish list.  I hope to read and benefit from these books soon.  Meanwhile, we already have several parenting books that my exemplary husband has read in recent years.  They are on the shelf waiting for me.

Obviously, a lack of resources is not the reason for my stagnation.  There are certainly reasons though. It was easier, for example, to manage one child.  Now my “class size” has ballooned to three.  Other factors involve my own poor choices.  And some unfavorable circumstances are not under my control.  But the same is true in a classroom setting.  

What I sought to do as a teacher was press on, learn from my mistakes, and pursue excellence.  I read books, attended conferences, and kept a teaching journal.  These growth activities were for my own fulfillment and for the benefit of those I was seeking to influence.  My challenge now is to apply many of these same strategies to my work in the home as I serve my family.   

If it seemed for a time that you were “getting nowhere”, what were some of the means that helped you to get back on the path of growth and fruitfulness?

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 3:13-14


Diane said...

I've very good at planning to change things...and falling short on the execution. The best thing? If I just do it; whether that is taking a class, buying a new Bible study guide and starting it, going to a conference. That first step is always the hardest. Once I realize I need to kick start the growth, I need to take an immediate step to do so.

Shawna R. B. Atteberry said...

I've been getting nowhere on my book proposal, but I decided this week to write two pages a day. I'm hoping to move forward.

mholgate said...

My "classroom size" is 5. I often have to change my lesson plans up to meet the current needs of my children. What I used to do with the oldest doesn't always work with the youngest. They sure do keep me on my toes!

Have a great weekend,

bashtree said...

I have certainly been 'stuck' before. I am a list-maker, so I find that usually what I need to get moving is to sit and write down all my ideas, wants, goals, and actual things to do, and then pick one and start on it.

Another thing that helps me is talking to someone who has 'gone before me' down the same, or similar, path. That often gives me the chance to voice some questions, get encouragement where I feel uncertain, AND implement some accountability - because someone ELSE knows I'm stuck now and also knows I have made an effort to get un-stuck...

joyceandnorm said...

I know what you mean since I was a PreK teacher before. I think we tend to lose our patience more with our own kids because we can, but shouldn't. And at work there was a break time and lunch where you could do your own thing. Being at home it's pretty much 24/7. I have heard good things about the Busy book, but haven't looked into it. I miss reading like I used to...well, unintrrrupted reading anyhow. =p