Out of your Control or Out of Control?

So many things are out of your control.  The best laid plans and all that…  You can be the most organised teacher and lay down contingency plans for seemingly every eventually you think humanly possible and still something happens that you simply could not have foreseen.

The challenge is how you cope with and manage the circumstances being out of your control.  So when the early online shopping delivery is late and you simply have to leave for work and at the same time one of your children has turned grey, is holding his stomach and pleading he feels sick (that was my morning!) what do you do?

When stuck between a rock and a hard place you can often feel trapped and stressed.  When you’re back is up against the proverbial wall, you can often feel you do not have a choice. The truth of the matter is, YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE!

The first choice is how you respond to the situation – I don’t mean literally, logistically or logically; I’m talking about your internal and emotional response.  You can choose to fume internally and let the frustration well up inside you until you explode or you could choose to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and allow them to be there without buying into them and expressing them outwardly onto others.

So you could choose to yell at the lady on the end of the shopping helpline (who, by the way, also has zero control over getting the broken down van to your house any faster) or you can choose to speak calmly and politely – recognising it’s not her fault.  You can be brusque with your child and tell him he’ll be fine and push him out the door or you can choose to give him some time, attention, TLC and create a contingency plan if he needs to stay home.

I am not suggesting being Mindful of oneself and ones response is easy.  The truth is, it is much easier to throw a tantrum, screech down the phone, use blame language and not take responsibility for one’s reaction.  “It’s everything out there that’s making me cross!  It’s not my fault, it’s their fault” Nonsense!!  You choose to be reactive or responsive!  You choose to be patient or impatient.  You choose to be polite or obnoxious. You choose….

So my invitation today is to recognise your responsibility regarding your behaviour – inside and outside school.  Sure, your HOD may be making unreasonable demands of you; half your students may be bouncing off the wall due to end of term excitability and your TA (if you’re lucky enough to have one) may be off sick due to exhaustion – but still, you choose to be in charge of your state.

You choose which state to be in. Which state would you rather be in and which state would your students rather you be in?  Which state do you believe will be more conducive to effective teaching and learning?  Which state would you rather feel – content or discontent? Which state will you choose? Out of control or in charge?
You decide.

Kathryn x

On July 16th, 2012, posted in: Blog by