We’re suffering. From something that’s totally treatable. But we have to act fast.
What ails us?
It’s the “It would be nice if”- syndrome.
Here’s what it sounds like:
- It would be nice if I had more prep time
- It would be nice if the grade level before us would actually teach the kids what they need to know for my grade level
- It would be nice if the kids would actually do their homework
- It would be nice if I could have more aide time
- It would be nice if we didn’t have to have all those walk-throughs during my teaching
Here’s the problem with the “It would be nice if”- syndrome:
- It’s built around talking – not action! And successful schools are all about the doing, not just the chatting.
- It’s focusing on a dream world! I hate to break it to you, but we work with kids. Kids do not exist in a dream world…they pull us right into reality. Everyday.
- It takes the focus on what matters most: the quality of the interaction between the teacher and the students!
- It kills our momentum! We lose ground when we waste our time talking about things that might not happen – plus we give away our instructional power when we base our students’ success on external sources.
So….you might be wondering what the heck you DO about the “It would be nice if”- syndrome! Well, Dr. Jackson, (I’m not really a doctor, but I play one in this blog) has just the prescription for YOU!
Prescription One: Realize right now that the return on your teaching begins with the PREP. If you have a highly prepped lesson, you have less behavioral interruptions, more engagement and have more time during the lesson to listen to your students and see what their learning.
Prescription Two: When you are in teacher meetings/team meetings, focus the work on TASKS, not just discussions. If you find that your team is all talk/no action, throw in one of these statements: “Ok guys…let’s talk about what we’re going to DO after this conversation” or “Alrighty – let’s focus on what we have control of so that we can get started right away!”. Focusing on an action immediately pulls you out of the all talk/no action problem. Sometimes we’re just in a bad habit of doing way more talking than we do acting and we just need someone to help us get pulled out of it! Let that person be YOU!
Prescription Three: Analyze your time spent at work. How much time is spent talking about the heart of instruction? How much time is spent actually crafting lessons and not just prepping materials? How much reflective conversation do you have with your coaches or your colleagues about your teaching? These types of questions drive your time and conversations directly back to that interaction between teacher and student – – -and that’s what really matters!
If you suffer from the “It would be nice if”- syndrome, then it’s your responsibility to take steps to recover! Here’s the cool thing: It’s actually pretty simple to recover. You start by doing.
Yep, that’s it!