won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other
people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own
nature, and what habits serve us best.
When I got married, my mom gave me a piece of advice that I have never forgotten: Act the way you want to feel.
She explained, if you want to feel loving toward your husband, act
loving toward him. As I was happily preparing for my wedding, I couldn’t
imagine a time that I would ever not feel loving toward my husband, but
I stored the advice away. I soon discovered that as
much as I love my husband, I don’t always feel that way 24 hours a day.
The small irritations--a task left undone, a toilet seat left up--as
well as the big annoyances--a disagreement over a bathroom remodeling
project--can sometimes put a damper on my affection. Whenever I find
myself hanging on to those negative feelings, I always return to my
mom’s advice: Act the way you want to feel. And it really does work;
your behavior changes your attitude. It’s really hard to feel
annoyed with my husband when I’m giving him a warm hug.
I was recently reading Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
by Gretchen Rubin when I came across this sentence: “It’s easy to
assume that we act because of the way we feel, but to a great degree, we
feel because of the way we act.” Here was my mom’s old advice in a
different context. I had always applied it to my marriage, but it got me
thinking about how it could apply to my habits at work.
At the beginning of the school year, I had made a goal to make a
regular habit of conferring with my high school students about their
reading. I scheduled conference days into my plan book as a way to
ensure that I made the time to talk with my students and it worked
great! I felt so empowered by this new habit--conferring was making me
more connected to my students and more in tune with their reading
successes and struggles.
Then other things started getting in the way--projects that
needed more time, unexpected schedule changes, and snow days. By
midterm, I had fallen off the wagon with conferring. It had happened
gradually, but finally one of my students asked, “When are you going to
have time to talk to us about our books again?”
I knew something had to be done. I was feeling defeated and,
worst of all, disconnected from my students. That’s when I applied my
mom’s advice. If I want to feel more connected to students, I need to
act connected to students--it’s nearly impossible to feel disconnected
from a student when I am talking with him one-on-one. This small, simple
shift in perspective gave me the push I needed to make time for
conferring once again. What I’ve come to realize is that
“act the way you want to feel” is a way of preventing negative feelings
from robbing you of the positive experiences in life, whatever the
context may be.
This week we look at notetaking in writing conferences. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Free for All
[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links, follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracyor Facebook:
Mandy Robek shares how she has revised the records she keeps during writing conferences:
http://www.choiceliteracy.com/articles-detail-view.php?id=1339 With more than 75% of students receiving extra support in a high-need district, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan struggled to find tools to help teachers collaborate around student needs. Enter the personal conferring notebook, a terrific vehicle for teachers to record insights about students working with multiple teachers and specialists:
Ruth explores the basics of writing workshops in her latest online course, beginning on March 2. The course includes three webcasts, a DVD, a book, videos, print resources, and personal responses from Ruth. For details and registration information, click on the link below: