08 Mar Slice of Life: Don’t Think More, Think Differently
I am participating in #SOL17 and want to thank to the Two Writing Teachers blog team and all the participating writers for creating a wonderful community.
In a meeting today someone shared an idea about change that I cannot get off my mind.
“When it comes to new initiatives or change, don’t think about it as one more thing you have to do, think about it as thinking differently about things you have always done.”
This shift in language is huge for me. As a staff developer, teachers always like to share the “pendulum theory in education” or the “never ending new initiative saga” with me. It is always described as adding to what we are currently doing. When seen in this way, our load is continually becoming bigger and bigger. We begin to cover rather than uncover or choose not to change at all because we are overwhelmed.
This idea proposes we should not add new ideas to old ideas, we should change our practice to accommodate both in relation to each other. If we simply keep adding the new, we risk never really changing. Piaget believed that true learning happens when we discover discrepancies between what we already know and what we discover. When we challenge our current understandings we are open to constructing new knowledge. This knowledge helps us learn, grow and change.
In my daily life, I too often feel like I can’t take on one more thing – even last week when I went from not doing the March Slicing Challenge this year to deciding to give it a go the next day. Nothing changed in my life. My “to do list” did not shrink. I did not add three hours to a twenty-four-hour day. I simply went from seeing the March Challenge as one more thing to seeing it differently. I thought about how it might energize me and make me more productive. I thought about how connecting with lots of writers might motivate me. I thought about how writing 31 short slices might be a nice break from revising and restructuring more than a hundred pages. I simply thought about it differently and I went from too much, to bring it on!
I plan to be more conscious of this idea of thinking differently about the things I always do when new things come my way. Rather than thinking I don’t have time, I am going to rethink my time. I look forward to seeing how this impacts me personally and professionally.