Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Don’t Think More, Think Differently
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-4416,single-format-standard,ajax_updown,page_not_loaded,,vertical_menu_enabled,qode-title-hidden,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-theme-ver-13.1.2,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5,vc_responsive

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.


  • Avatar
    Kevin Hodgson
    Posted at 10:26h, 08 March Reply

    That kind of quote and thinking is exactly what good leaders (not sure if it was someone in a leadership position who told you it) should be doing on a regular basis. The quote reminds me of something George Couros might say (you know him? Innovative Educator dude? Worth checking out).
    Good luck.

  • Avatar
    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 10:37h, 08 March Reply

    The last line strikes me, Clare. I’m always thinking about my time. I might have to tweak it to remove the thought of not having time. Someone said to me, and I wish I could remember who–think about substituting the words GET TO for HAVE TO. That makes a big difference, too. Have a good day.

    PS I”m SO glad you’re doing the slicing. I know, I know. I’ve already said that.

  • Avatar
    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 11:09h, 08 March Reply

    I love so much about this, I’m. It sure what to highlight. Thank you for helping us see differently. Thanks for encouraging me to write.

  • Avatar
    Michelle Haseltine
    Posted at 11:30h, 08 March Reply

    What a simple, yet powerful change! I love this. It’s true, but sometimes hearing it like this helps so much. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad you’re here slicing!

  • Avatar
    Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 12:15h, 08 March Reply

    I love this idea, Clare. Learning how to accommodate a new task or new procedure just as we accommodate new learning! Your example of choosing to do Slice of Life this month is a perfect fit here, viewing it as a way to start the day, to energize, to gather new thinking. I believe I went through this same process when I decided I would definitely write every day in March. The key for me is to continue to write every day on my blog when March is over. I think it helps me get my day started on a positive note, because whatever I write about, I’m writing – therefore, I’m thinking aloud on paper. Good exercise for my brain; food for the heart and soul!

  • Avatar
    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 12:55h, 08 March Reply

    Clare, Ill join the bandwagon and say I too am glad you are writing a slice a day. Your words are a source of inspiration to me and I am sure many others.
    My favorite line today: If we simply keep adding the new, we risk never really changing. I think these words could be instrumental in all we do as coaches. Thank you again and again.

  • Avatar
    Katherine Sokolowski
    Posted at 13:12h, 08 March Reply

    Hmm. This ties in to my slice today too. I needed to rethink the way I used my time in the classroom to allow time for read aloud. Love how you are thinking about this in terms of PD and what initiatives come down as well.

  • Avatar
    Posted at 13:31h, 08 March Reply

    I think you hit the nail on the head. If we reframe our thinking to embrace learning as adjusting rather than adding on, we’ll be more open to the changes that might surprise and enlighten us, not burden us. Slices like this certainly inspire me! Keep ’em coming!!

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Laffin
    Posted at 13:33h, 08 March Reply

    I’m so, so glad you decided to think differently about this slicing challenge. There’s a saying I really like: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I tell this to my 17 year old quite often!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 13:56h, 08 March Reply

    The biggest shift I can make to go from “I can’t” to “I can” is in my perspective: not to think of the new thing as a burden, but as something to embrace. I had the same reservations about the March challenge…and I, too, am so glad that I shifted my perspective, made a few adjustments, and joined in.

  • Avatar
    Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 18:51h, 08 March Reply

    “Don’t think more; think differently.” Great idea, Clare. Teachers often feel overwhelmed by mandates directed AT them and not WITH their input. When we take revise our thinking, we revise how we adapt to change. You are so right–if we keep adding the new to the old, we risk never changing. Lots to think about.

  • Avatar
    Karen Terlecky
    Posted at 04:10h, 09 March Reply

    That shift in language leads to huge shifts in mindset. It’s not about one more thing; it’s about re shifting how we do business, whether in our professional or personal lives.
    And by the way, you have so enriched my life by deciding to join the Slice Challenge! 😉

Post A Comment

Verification *