Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't Overthink It: What We Can Learn About Our Teaching Philosophy Through Golf

1.5 Seconds of Thought
This week I have decided to dedicate my blog to the game that I love and hate the most, golf!! Thanks to a recent outing with a colleague, I got my game into the best shape it's been in for years AND got this awesome idea for a blog post. While we spent the afternoon laughing, high fiving for good shots, talking to ourselves after poor shots, there was one constant about the game: Regardless of a good shot or bad shot, the mumbling was always, "Don't overthink it!" Almost everyone knows that sports, especially golf, are mentally grueling and the more you think while playing usually the worse the outcome. So why do we continue to overthink things? Is education any different right now in this time of uncertainty and change? Maybe, just maybe the adults don't always have the perfect answer because we overthink it, but collaboratively with our students, I know the right answers will be found.

Famous golfer Ben Hogan once said, "Golf is the hardest game in the world. There's no way you can ever get it. Just when you think you do, the game jumps up and puts you in your place." I find this to be a perfect analogy for our profession. The second we as educators think we have everything figured out and become stagnant is the second we have failed ourselves and our students. One thing we have all learned about life is that change is a given and currently in education change is becoming more and more the norm. So why do we resist change so much in our profession. After all, if our duty is to promote learning to our youth, why are so many educators turned off to the idea of learning new strategies and trying new lessons? While degrees and certifications may prove our intelligence, they certainly do not make us omnipotent wizards of the classroom. Our craft is always changing and the only way to ensure success for all is to recognize this, accept it, and grow with it. If we don't overthink the change, then it won't be anything to fear.

I leave you today with this quote from Bruce Crampton, "Golf is a COMPROMISE between what your EGO wants you to do, what EXPERIENCE tells you to do, and what your NERVES will let you do." I'm not certain that there could be a better correlation for the difficult task of being an educator. We must continue to want to grow and acknowledge our biases and understand that our beliefs are simply that, our beliefs. No one's beliefs are absolute and prescribing of everyone in our communities. It's time to compromise with our egos and experience and take the risk that our nerves are telling us to take!!

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

Take a moment to think about that teacher from your own school experience that for one reason or another you felt was against you or gave up on you. Think about the characteristics about that individual that bothered you and caused you to feel that way. Now self reflect about your own behaviors and actions. If there is anything remotely close to those actions that caused you to feel disenfranchised from that teacher, fix them so none of your students feel like you have given up on them!!