Saturday, December 24, 2011

JDS Insights: October 2011

I'm aware that it's Christmas Eve...and I'm posting about stuff that happened months ago.

But a lot has happened in those months.

Re-reading the insights for October and I'm instantly transported to my state of mind back then.

The big thing was my birthday. This year on October 3rd I turned 35 years old.

At this age I have become more contemplative about the future; I'm more aware of how *old* I am and I suppose my own mortality. But I don't *feel* 35 - I'm not sure how 35 is supposed to feel (that shows how reliable feelings are for understanding reality).

We also had a nice holiday in October which included more opportunities to feel self-conscious about my body on a beach but really consisted of doing very little - a brilliant chance to switch off.

I also read some.

The main book for this month was something that's helped my teaching.

As teachers we're meant to be 'reflective practitioners'. That means we're constantly evaluating and reviewing our lessons and teaching practices so we can improve. More so than most jobs, I think it's essential to maintaining sanity in a world of constantly changing goal-posts but also getting a handle on the actual process of teaching.

So I read this book:



And then I laughed a lot, thought a lot and resolved to do some of the stuff suggested in the book in my classes. The full title of the book is actually 'How to Teach: The ultimate (and ultimately irreverent) look at what you should be doing in your classroom if you want to be the best teacher you can possibly be'. It really is ultimately irreverent and that's what makes it such a great read. It manages to balance profound truth with hilarity. This can only be found in classrooms across the country as teachers pull their hair out every day.

Now, a lot (actually, pretty much all) of the time, teachers adhere strongly to the old phrase 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Me being the particular kind of weirdo that reads books and does what the books say took a baby and some bath water and well...

Apart from that - the author's humanity is in this book. He really gives his whole self and I feel enriched as a teacher because of it. He is a Jolly Nice Chap - his twitter is HERE and his website is HERE!

There will be more on this in November's post.

That was October.*

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Oct 01: State of mind affects the ageing process more than we like to admit.

Oct 02: Age only brings wisdom when knowledge is acted on.

Oct 03: Age does not guarantee wisdom.

Oct 04: Age brings physical maturity but not necessarily any other.

Oct 05: Ageing sees growth, maturity and decline. At least we have a choice about gracefully going through each.

Oct 06: Step back, calm down and the way forward reveals itself.

Oct 07: Somewhere inside I have all the answers I need. Discovering them is the challenge.

Oct 08: Nature cannot be separated from our experience.

Oct 09: Spending time with nature reaffirms who we really are.

Oct 10: We don't need any more reason other than: just because we say so.

Oct 11: Growth happens at the limits of what you can do.

Oct 12: Your destiny gives you direction.

Oct 13: I never know what the response will be unless I do something different.

Oct 14: My body allows me to get stuff done. Why not take extremely good care of it?

Oct 15: Plan something and you can relax.

Oct 16: Everything starts as a creation in someone's head.

Oct 17: Holidays allow for contemplation that would not normally happen.

Oct 18: Contemplation gives space for creation.

Oct 19: A result is the meaning we add to specific things that happen.

Oct 20: Things are happening all the time. Whether we like it or not is up to us.

Oct 21: Old habits are hard to break. New ones are easy to create.

Oct 22: Just because I have been doing something regularly for a year still means it can be forgotten.

Oct 23: Just because I have been doing something regularly for ten years, still means it can be forgotten.

Oct 24: Just because it looks clean doesn't mean it is clean.

Oct 25: Truth can be found everywhere.

Oct 26: The space around me for new stuff to show up is always filling up.

Oct 27: Clear out old stuff to make way for new. Now apply that idea to your headspace.

Oct 28: An empty space will get filled.

Oct 29: I am always creating. Until it gets comfortable. Then it's repetition.

Oct 30: Being comfortable requires no focus.

Oct 31: Achieving comfort at one level allows creation at another. But only if I commit to grow.
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*All my shit.