Monday, October 24, 2011

JDS Insights: September 2011

It's been a while.

September was back to school...for someone like me.

Teachers approach the new school year in a variety of ways...but perhaps mostly with trepidation at the impending tiredness, late nights and the deeper appreciation of weekends.

Since returning to school and listening to the grapevine I've got the impression that a few of my (current and ex) pupils are reading my blog.

Hence my attempt to clean up the language...but not necessarily the vitriol, vigour and ranting.

It just means I have to be more creative.*

Anyway - returning to school full of inspiration and new ideas from the books I've been reading namely:


...which is actually the follow on from another book I read in May.

I've found something interesting has happened. Instead of marking (and planning) being the bane of my life and being unwilling and unable to get myself to sit down with books and get through it without my eyes rolling to the back of my head...I've actually been getting on with it.

Shocking.

Perhaps it's the sheer bloody-mindedness of staying the course in a career like teaching and I've just crossed my own Rubicon and become A Good Teacher. But I don't think so...I think it's because I've actually taken on the stuff in the book above. Over the years, I've noticed I'm one of a particular kind of weirdo who reads books and does what they say.


I've also noticed no significant drop in my energy levels as half-term approaches. Normally September starts well and I'm all happy with my nice new shiny teacher planner**, clean books and good working space. By the end of the month I've created my own special countdown to half-term as the frustration of teaching Year 11 begins to set in.

Not this time.

It's not that I'm all up-myself and high-and-mighty (although I get accused of that sometimes) - it's that I enjoy my job. I like to think the boys I teach know this and they're along for the journey too.

I also sat down and looked through the surveys*** I got back from last year's Year Ten (now this year's *wonderful* Year Eleven) and I've taken no nonsense in a way that I haven't before - as they requested. I adapted The Behaviour Guru's classroom rules template and it's worked.

It's also worked because I've been relentless at chasing people for sanctions and detentions. At the core of all this is me being organised and having certainty. Which I got from implementing the ideas in the book above.

See it's all wonderfully, virtuously circular.

Let's see what the future brings.

That was September.****
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Sep 01: Simple pleasures make life beautiful. I just forget they are everywhere.

Sep 02: Clearing a space allows for something else to emerge.

Sep 03: We clutter our minds and our lives and wonder why we don't achieve what we want.

Sep 04: Acquiring stuff does not make me richer.

Sep 05: The space between is as valuable as here and there.

Sep 06: Mastery lies in understanding the space between thought and the result.

Sep 07: Mastery is never really getting there, but exploring the myriad of ways that you can.

Sep 08: Nostalgia is only satisfying when you're happy in the present.

Sep 09: The bin needs to be emptied daily of the nonsense that builds up.

Sep 10: Our mundane daily habits contain snapshots into the profound.

Sep 11: Experiences we keep forever. Stuff will eventually get recycled.

Sep 12: Knowing why really can make all the difference.

Sep 13: Understanding the principles that govern something enables real power.

Sep 14: Understanding the principles behind the principles creates mastery.

Sep 15: I am not better than you. But you're not better than me.

Sep 16: Dominate, intimidate and subjugate your way to power and unhappiness.

Sep 17: There is a difference between results coerced and forced and results inspired and created.

Sep 18: Truth is difficult to come by.

Sep 19: Find out what people think before taking action. It saves time.

Sep 20: Over-thinking prevents action. At some point action has to be taken.

Sep 21: Keeping an eye on the prize keeps me motivated. I just gotta make sure I am going for the right prize.

Sep 22: Inspiration cannot be forced.

Sep 23: Cleaning one's physical space can enable cleaning ones mental space. And vice versa.

Sep 24: You can't always tell if you have offended someone. But if you ask, you can always clear it up.

Sep 25: When I am comfortable with the uncertainty of life then I tend to be able to respond to it effectively.

Sep 26: When I attempt to stay fixed - that's when the problems start.

Sep 27: I don't need to go to church or adhere to a set of religious ideals to experience God. God transcends all that.

Sep 28: Until I make it up, nothing happens.

Sep 29: There is a difference between taking things personally and taking responsibility.

Sep 30: Men act simply but are not simple.
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* Although I do think swear words have their place. Just ask George Carlin.

** Another post will go into the wonders of my Teachers' Planner later...

*** Every term I give my classes a survey about my teaching. It's pretty insightful and I get some stuff to think about and change.

****All Mine