“Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow.” Paracelsus
I accept that I’m a skilled and experienced professional educator. I know what’s best for my students and for my classroom environment. Still, there are times when the prescribed curriculum just isn’t flowing. At that moment, it may not match my personality or teaching style. It may not be working for my students, either. Their vibe tells me they aren’t getting it. These are the times I trust my gut and try something new, something different. When I was a student teacher, my master teacher said I should always be ready to use the “F-word.” That’s “flexibility.” (Don’t go anywhere else!) Being prepared to change the lesson at a moment’s notice is one of the best teaching tools. If the book I’m reading aloud isn’t connecting with the students, we can take a movement break. Or, I can put the book down and we’ll go back to it tomorrow. If the math lesson isn’t going as planned, I can stop and return to the previous lesson, ensuring the students are clearly grasping the concept. Trusting my gut gives me the flexibility to ensure my lessons are successful.
When should you stop and trust your gut? Your well-honed teacher’s intuition will tell you when a change of pace is necessary. A lesson that feels forced or sluggish offers the opportunity to use the F-word. Remember, that’s “flexibility.” Give yourself permission to be flexible. It will have a positive impact on your students and help you to grow as an educator.
(Access to these photographs does not constitute a transfer of copyright or a license for commercial use. The images are for personal use only. No portion of the images can be used without the expressed written permission of Michael B. Stanley, Jr.)