Thursday, October 24, 2019

Difficult dynamics

Sometimes life presents itself with difficult dynamics. It's like dumping 1/4 each of four different jigsaw puzzles into a box and asking someone to make the puzzle--the pieces simply don't fit and it's a frustrating endeavor.

What happens when life gives you a box of mismatched puzzle pieces?

Life, in some ways, has presented me with this amazing challenge--one that requires new thinking and a different approach.

The first step is to back away from the master puzzle makers who simply are shouting advice from the sidelines. Rather than lots of helpful comments, I need skilled hands-on help instead and simply the time and space to make sense of this puzzle.

The next step is continued focus on what matters including relationship building, just-right activities/coaching, and a good routine. This puzzle requires a different mindset and approach than past puzzles.

What will work?
  • straight talk: in many ways, straight talk works in this situation.
  • less talk: fewer words are better here.
  • time-on-task: there's lots of work to do, and focusing on doing that work helps
  • less extraneous talk and inferring: what matters here is action
  • focus on the most essential goals: the essential goal here is learning and teaching
What efforts will take main stage?
  • completing the initial stage of student portfolios
  • completing the math introductory unit
  • prepping for upcoming field studies
  • completing the introductory science and STEAM lessons
  • preparing for a few worthy professional learning events
  • care and attention to each piece of the puzzle 
What is left behind?
  • unnecessary conjecture and conversation
  • efforts aimed nowhere
  • tasks outside of the main focus
I generally am a fan of puzzles. I like to think deeply about how to solve problems and make better. Similar to way I teach students, I know that a positive mindset and good effort results in positive gain. Onward.