Wednesday, May 16, 2012


     I was raised to respect the power of my will, but I’ve learned it can produce problems as well as successes, especially in the classroom. I have sometimes shoved my way through whole school days, determined to do what my willpower wanted to do. On those days I wasted no time taking advice from intuitions, instincts, hunches, or short-lived feelings, for I knew what needed to be done, and I did it. My will power was the trailblazer. It told me I could take on any task, and that whatever I did – and did well and with a strong will -- would do some good for the students. Over the past years, though, I have learned of a different and superior power – the power, you might say, of simply stepping back. I have learned to stay silent more often and just listen to the little ideas that don’t shout like willpower, but quietly call out useful and sometimes surprising suggestions. It’s like sailing, perhaps, when you stop struggling with the wind and just settle back and see where it takes you. There’s a wind that works like that in teaching, but I have to tell my willpower to wait in the corner in order to see where this wind wants to go.  

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