In the Middle
Tomorrow, I’ll wear rain boots.
Today, in the middle of my daily walk
before the crest of the treed hill, I paused.
The roar of rushing water in the creek in the path ahead
caused me to imagine its dry bed flowing now instead
as a babbling brook fully splashing, the melting snow, its cause.
I stepped forward with the fierce flow envisioned
in my mind, a memory of a spring flow from times’ past;
I quickened my pace and followed the frantic, swirling sound;
Surprise! the stream raced over my bridge, not under, not on ground-
I waited, attuned to its murmured message, then turned myself around
after impressing the wonder of the waterfall, an image held to last.
So, tomorrow I’ll wear rain boots to join in the splash.
GloPoWriMo 41517, In the Middle, Sheri Edwards, Flickr
An important idea to share with students is the idea that “Life Happens.” Life happens, and whatever we’ve been planning needs an update; we learn to be flexible. Sharing our own flexibility when obstacles are encountered models real life for our students. If it’s a lesson gone awry, model your self-talk to get through it, and involve students in making a change that helps them and you.
An important part of flexibility is confidence: believing you can. What are ways to learn confidence, the belief in one’s ability to accomplish and succeed at goals?
As adults we have the benefit of experience over time to learn to believe in ourselves.It’s why we create lessons that students CAN be successful in– to build their confidence, to increase that feeling of self-efficacy because they see an achievable goal. Just like in the middle of my walk, in my poem, I build my vision of confidence:
- I have a goal
- I plan and prepare, knowing obstacles might occur
- I pause in my plan to reflect and imagine next steps– smaller goals
- I consider the cause/effect of my own and others’ actions
- I envision/imagine the successes I’ve had before
- I take a step forward
- I understand I can turn around or go around
- I can wonder and learn at each success and obstacle or error
- I am better planned and prepared for the next step: tomorrow, I’ll wear rainboots
- I will enjoy both the struggle and the success [I can splash too]
Reflections on our experiences build confidence for the next path in life’s journey. We can build these into student reflections on not just our successes, but also our struggles, to help students build the strategies that we ourselves use to gain confidence in achieving our goals.
Before beginning a project, we think of and imagine our goals, and what we’ve done in the past to be successful. Doing this helps gather confidence, to have faith in our actions to lead to success.
In our lessons for students, we know that life lessons are just as important, and we have faith that both our academic and our life lessons will help our students grow.
Many times we doubt ourselves and don’t believe in ourselves. Why do you think this is so? What can you do to believe in yourself?
As I pondered my options for retirement and consider options, my doubting-self whispers in my ear, as I set off on new adventures. How do I dispel these doubters? This reflection helped me review how I stepped forward each day in the classroom to improve, and how even my approach to help students “step forward” included achievable goals and confidence building. This blog and others I have document my struggles and successes. I can now step forward in confidence myself again: planning goals, envisioning the past and the possible, preparing for small steps, remembering what I do know, adapting to obstacles, and enjoying the journey. I can do it. I believe.
Are these ideas similar to your ideas for believing in yourself? Do you have your rainboots ready? How do you help students believe in themselves?
Images and Poems by Sheri:
Life Happens [John Lennon]