Monday, February 15, 2016

Shifting Thought

All thoughts come to you with preconceived notions and past experiences, which then create your current reality.  What happens when in a second that paradigm is shifted to something different, and you immediately realize that your original thought is not only wrong, but you are ashamed of how you thought.

For example, you think a student that does not come to school is just "lazy", but you later realize that they live in a house with 12+ people, the noise keeps them up at night, and when the bus comes to pick them up, they finally got to sleep.  They miss the bus and you then you find out they have no way of getting to school, because no one has a car.

Or....

You are looking at someone and immediately judge them for who you "think" they are and also immediately assume they will react a certain way, only to find out they react differently.

Or...

You are thinking one way about a potential problem and you think you have a solution and then through conversation a new possibility presents itself, and you totally scrap your original plan, and go in a different direction because it just makes more sense.

Or...

You have forever thought the way you did something was the right way to handle a situation and then after talking through similar situations with someone more knowledgable than you, a new path is presented that makes so much more sense.


In all of these instances you have to rumble with the idea that you have to change and modify yourself in order to grow.  I have had these instances quite a bit over the last week or so.  Here are some examples of how change has affected me in the past week or so.

1.  I have decided to not use email to deliver my "weekly update" to staff.  I will use our update section of our LMS (Schoology) to deliver the message.  This will allow for more transparent questioning and discussion.  It is more static, so you can go back without searching hard to find the information, and is not diluted with 100+ other messages on a daily basis.

2.  I talked to a professional BCBA about behaviors and the importance of analysis of behavior beyond the usual "he does it for attention" or "task avoidance".  There are more reasons why kids act a certain way beyond this.  So why do we as educators always seem to go there to come up with interventions.  Kids issues are deeper than that, we need to figure out the root cause, or our interventions are destine to fail and are probably not even ethical.

3.  I listened to a podcast from Seth Godin that explained that in order to make advancement in areas where you appear to be stuck you need to change the conversation.  You can not keep asking the same questions that you always ask.  Ask them from a different perspective, put them in a different medium, choose a different audience, do whatever, but change the conversation to think beyond that same path you were on.

These are all examples of my growth and could be your examples if you just free yourself up to do a few things:

  1. Get more information, because the more information you have can only lead to better decisions and less stress in making them. 
  2. Seek a new way to do something where you have always been uncomfortable with.  New path creates a new result.  
  3. Find someone with more knowledge than you in an area and really listen to them and get their perspective.
  4. Change the conversation, don't go down that same path with the same cliches and modes of thinking, that will not help you solve the current problem you are in.  If you keep coming up with the same answers you have had for so long, then you probably aren't solving a problem but passing it on for later.  
Bottom line, move, grow, challenge, talk, listen, think, stop, and repeat until you are satisfied for now.  Knowing full well that even this enlightened way of thinking is only temporary until you need to go through the process again.  

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