littlecolourfulteacher

littlecolourfulteacher

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

training the imperfect, the wonderful, the interesting, the beautiful

January 28, 2018 , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t want to admit it, but generally, I like things to look nice. Ordered. Pretty.

Conveniently “bento-boxed”.

But actually, there are many times in my life where this sense of order + “perfectness” impacts on the pure messy joy that I can experience.

It doesn’t affect me negatively, I still have the same outcome, but I lose just a tiny bit of joy and sparkle, curiosity and unexpected learning.

Interestingly, I am very good at supporting “good learning chaos” in the classroom. I have faith in my ability to drive that. But for me? Somehow the idea of routine equals maximum production. When did I become such a machine?!

For example, last year I had a favourite mug. Nothing wrong with that, except that I have 18 other gorgeous, brightly patterned, colourful, all-shapes-and-sizes mugs waiting to be used. The problem was I was all for not creating any additional work and securing a predictable outcome. And you could trace it back to my plunger-coffee brewing skills!

On the surface, I was a creature of habit. Flip that, and I was playing it safe. In my cup usage. Which no doubt meant in some other aspects of my world.

So this year, after cleaning for Chinese New Year, I started using every single other mug I owned, no matter how awkward to use, how it put my milk + coffee proportions out of whack, no matter how hard to balance, no matter how quickly my coffee cooled down. I put up with the inconvenience and lack of predictability for the sake of a new experience.

This all seems totally ridiculous when you think, “It’s ONLY A FRICKIN’ MUG!”

But it becomes a very big deal when you apply that sense of daring and risk and change to what I do in the classroom, what I read, who I talk to, the conversations I’m willing to engage in, what movies I watch, and how I approach life.

Am I willing to be a teacher different to what I’ve done in the past? I’m an effective teacher…but I wonder what else I can do? I win the day through connection + building a strong rapport with my students. What about pushing harder on grit + excellence?

When I am tired or overwhelmed by school, I go back to old familiar books, movies, and tv show because they don’t cost me anything emotionally. I don’t have to pay close attention. What if I traded one hour of mindless “re-whatever-ing” for 15 minutes of pushing out of my comfort zone?

I have cooked the same dozen or so healthy meals and lunches for school for the past year. Not because I don’t love cooking with a passion, but because – and GET THIS – I don’t want the extra wash-up and unpredictability of time use when I try new recipes! Oh my goodness. Cracking open the recipe books now. What is a kitchen for but to create joyful mess and experience new tastes + cuisines?

I solve problems by being perceptive, articulating my side, and then peace-making. One project I know myself to be engaging in this year is “warrior training”; staying with a problem and leaning into a difficult conversation more readily than walking the other way. It will be more uncomfortable and unpredictable, but I just wonder what it would be like to stay present and create authentic ripples, rather than not. I want to get better at close-range combat, well, here’s my chance.

So that “regular mug”?

On rotation.

For the sake of pushing up against bento-boxed perfect for all-over-the-table imperfect + present.

%d bloggers like this: