Monday, January 14, 2013

Escojo Enseñar


Make a list of the things you do in a day.  Start every sentence with “I have to…” 

I have to wake up early.
I have to go for a run.
I have to take a shower.
I have to prepare materials for my students.
I have to go to the school.
I have to observe my facilitators and monitor their work with the kids.
I have to cook lunch.
I have to meet with the principal and teachers.
I have to write.
I have to clean my house.
I have to visit my host family.
           
Now, replace the words “I have to” with “I choose to.”

I choose to wake up early.
I choose to go for a run.
I choose to take a shower.
I choose to prepare materials for my students.
I choose to go to the school.
I choose to observe my facilitators and monitor their work with the kids.
I choose to cook lunch.
I choose to meet with the principal and teachers.
I choose to write.
I choose to clean my house.
I choose to visit my host family.

Now, replace the words “I choose to” with “I have the good fortune to.”

I have the good fortune to wake up early.
I have the good fortune to go for a run.
I have the good fortune to take a shower.
I have the good fortune to prepare materials for my students.
I have the good fortune to go to the school.
I have the good fortune to observe my facilitators and monitor their work with the kids.
I have the good fortune to cook lunch.
I have the good fortune to meet with the principal and teachers.
I have the good fortune to write.
I have the good fortune to clean my house.
I have the good fortune to visit my host family.

I feel a big difference between saying "I have the good fortune to go for a run" and "I have to go for a run."  Thank God I'm able to run.  Everything is your state of mind.  Your actions are a choice.  It's only through our own luck that we are able to live in this world and have the opportunity to make it better.  Don’t be trapped in “I have to.” 

* * *

This weekend, we finally held a teacher training conference for teachers and administrators from our sites.  It was the most stressful and professional conference I’ve done, and though a lot seemed to fall apart as we came down to the wire, everything came back together again throughout the conference.  We had workshops on classroom management, student-centered learning, critical thinking, working with parents, and didactic materials, with the overarching goal of creating a culture of achievement… where there currently is none. 

The teachers soaked up the information, and left for their communities promising to multiply it with their colleagues.  This will hopefully mark the beginning of a series of trainings I’ll do with the teachers in my site.  I predict that my last months in Tabara Arriba will be the most productive of my entire service.

Shout out to Jackie Iloh for her awesome motivational activity at the end of the conference!  Escojo Enseñar means “I choose to teach.”  The initiative aims to give teachers more tools, support, and motivation to do better in their classrooms.  Replacing “I have to” with “I have the good fortune to” really changed everyone’s frame of mind.  I hope it sticks.

The whole group of volunteers, teachers, and principals

My charla on learning styles

Participants making didactic materials


1 comment:

  1. I have the good fortune to subscribe to this blog. Thank you! :)

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