In Michael Linsin’s book The Happy Teacher Habits he shares how saying “No” more often basically improves your life. His reasons are solid, by saying “No” we are not distracted by things that do not influence the quality of our teaching. We are able to balance better and our attention is not taken away from our students.
This chapter,”Decline,” makes some very good points, but I have always said YES.”Yes” to the committee, yes to the conference, yes to leading professional development. I always saw it as honing my skills, knowing what was going on and I like it that way. Most recently I said yes to teaching some Community Ed classes. In isolation, if I did not have report cards to complete and papers to grade and lessons to plan, I know it would have been a great idea. I know it will work out, but that was one place I should have said NO.
My colleague really has this NO thing down. He is new to our school and runs a very tight ship. He is solely focused on his teaching and students and becomes annoyed when something interrupts that. He is polite but intentional, asking very pertinent questions as to why things are done in a certain way. He has balanced his workload and leaves at a decent time daily. I am not sure if it is his training or the way he is wired, but it works for him.
I am a collective of all of my experiences. I try not to compare myself to others. Different ages, different stages and with that different priorities.I do know one thing, I do not need to make sense to anyone but myself because ultimately, it is my reflection looking back at me each morning. I do think I can take something from Michael Linsin and my colleague. I can work to limit adding new things, but in some ways, my quest for new is part of who I am. I have over 200 links saved on my Facebook Feed. My colleague and I have developed a “summer list” of sorts and I have a pile of partially read books sitting by my bed. This weekend I am saying no to the commenting challenge in lieu of grading and reports cards. I am also saying no to the book study on Seravallo’s Reading Strategies Book. There will be a time for that.
I am saying yes to the SOL challenge still as I finish this post. I love the feeling of peace I have when I write. I am saying yes to the regular 3 comments each day. The feedback and collaboration have been AWESOME. On to the other tasks for the weekend. I have a do list and a don’t list and after pouring myself another cup of coffee, I will get started. I have a breakfast date with a friend at 9:30 and a collaboration date tomorrow at 9:30 to talk about our next unit in writing.
In rereading this post, I am probably a candidate for a “research based”, “does not take me our of the core,”“No” intervention. Is there a plan for that?