This blog belongs to Patricia Atkinson and was created as part of the Education Media Design and Technology program at Full Sail University.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Week 3 Reading: Art of Possibility Chapters 5-8
I really enjoyed the reading this week.Chapter five was a great reminder for me that instructors need to be accountable.I always try to admit my mistakes, and give credit to any student who corrected me.I also apologize every once in a while to a student if I recognize that I overreacted in a situation or let my personal mental state effect my reaction to their behavior.I let them know that I’m a “real” person, capable of emotions, life emergencies, and mistakes.I loved the “Lehner” story, and the idea of shifting power in the classroom spontaneously; enabling students to feel value with the anticipation of potential role change.To know that your leader would trust to hand over the reigns at any given time is a special feeling.I also love Zander’s idea of the white sheets: what an inventive way to record and reflect on student input.How amazing to actually acknowledge a students’ input through eye contact and other non-verbal performance elements.
Chapter 6, and rule number 6, is extraordinary.That idea has been my motto this school year in order to survive.I have found myself so frustrated with certain students’ behaviors that I want to correct them every single time they say something inappropriate, instead of picking and choosing my battles.When I refrain, I feel resentful towards them.I realize from reading this chapter that I need to remind myself that I am a teacher, not a parent of 162 children.I am not physically or mentally able to project my personal value set in the discipline of my classes.I must remember that position and attention are central to my students, and they do not intentionally mean to offend me with most of their actions.They are surviving in a competitive environment.I must focus on finding my central self rather than the calculating, judgmental, angry, resentful self.I can’t judge rude children without considering the whole person=who knows what is going on in their life or how they were raised.
In chapter 7, the way things are, I loved the concept of being present to reaction and just letting life go without being overly negative.I have always been the person who did that at family and social gatherings.My role as pacifier and encourager comes naturally to me.I always try to find the bright side of things verbally and with body language.Although uplifting negativity continually can be emotionally draining, sometimes it is just necessary.I love the concept of just letting everything flow, with no good or bad judgments, just being.That’s easier said than done, but definitely an inspiring goal to strive for.It all boils down to the original focus of this book: separating concepts from physical actuality, reflections from observations, and constructs from genuine assessment.
Those ideas fuel the imperative avoidance of “downward spiral talk”.Relating back to my challenge students, I need to stop expecting a negative interchange as soon as they walk in the door.Maybe if I tried an “upward spiral”, the interchanges would be more positive from the jump.
Of course I want to unleash my passion! That is what this graduate program is all about for me.I am looking at the big picture, embracing challenge and living life to the fullest! Although I feel like I’m barely holding on to a racehorse with no saddle, I know the finish line, and more wonderful life experiences, are in store.
Original photo taken of my wonderful and inspiring mother, Elizabeth, playing frisbee golf