What is your mental momentum about teaching?

What Is Your Mental Momentum About Teaching?

We have a problem in the hearts and minds of many educators everywhere.  I'm guilty of it sometimes, too. Sometimes my momentum is not moving forward. I can wish for something that never will be and not do what is right in front of me.

Alvin Toeffler said,

“you’ve got to think about the ‘big thing’ while you’re doing the small things, so that all the things go in the right direction.”

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The big thing is that students have changed. We don’t have to like it. We don’t have to enjoy it. But we do have to face it if we’re going to teach kids.

People who relate to technology by saying “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” are burning their bridges with kids before they even start the trip.

Most people want what used to be, not what can be. They spend their time fondly thinking of the past instead of dreaming about the future. If we’re going to start thinking about big things, we need to give ourselves permission to head in a new direction, break new ground and try a new way. We have to remember that there is more out there in the world than our way of teaching. We must be willing to get out there and try it out.

For those of you out there trying new things already — way to go. And for those of you realizing that you’re exhausted by trying to push a car with square wheels — no guilt. You can’t do anything about the past. If you know you need to change some things, start today by changing your own mind.

Examine your mental momentum.

  • Are you frantically trying to run back to a past that will never be your present again?
  • Or are you running towards a dream in the future of a better classroom and a better life?

I kind of think someone driving in reverse down the interstate and looking in the rear view mirror would be headed for a wreck. Live is meant to be lived looking out the front windshield, not the rearview mirror.

I love, respect, and appreciate you, teacher. We all have to struggle to grow and learn and have an open mind to new things.

But when presented with a new idea, don't say “I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work” when you’re just making an excuse not to change. We need to reach every child in our classroom. We may not accomplish that in the end, but if we don’t start with that as our goal, we don’t have a chance.

Just want to encourage you to be forward facing today and to try some new teaching ideas soon.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Mark Eichenlaub June 23, 2016 - 3:05 pm

Hello Vicki,
You have such an important site and I ALWAYS know you are looking out for what is best for teachers. Looking forward is so important as well as letting go of any negative baggage from behind you. Just keep moving forward. You aren’t going back so don’t bother looking.
I agree with most of what you say but I also think as teachers it’s up to us to also take a lot of the wasted time activities off of our plates and TEACH kids to rely and depend on us less. When you teach reliance intentionally or accidentally kids are losing out on great opportunities to safely fail at a young age and growth from it.
I FIRMLY believe we need to do LESS and let our students know we are doing less and it’s for their good.

Vicki Davis June 23, 2016 - 4:42 pm

Mark- the question is less OF WHAT. Saying I am going to give you less attention and it is for your own good or I am going to teach less or I am going to love you less. Your answer is not specific enough for me to agree or disagree.

Katie Scott June 25, 2016 - 3:38 pm

Thank you for your post, I found it to be helpful and inspirational. I currently am seeking my Elementary Ed. degree and I find myself at times lost in the direction of technology and where and how to integrate it in to the classroom. I relate to ‘what used to be’ as I didn’t grow up with technology being a huge go to so I don’t have those experiences to refer back to. However I’m learning so much of what can be used and how I can reach my students with technology in the classroom.

Thanks again for the uplift in my outlook!

Yesenia June 28, 2016 - 3:13 pm

Thank you for your post, I found it to be helpful and inspirational I find myself at times lost in the direction of my growing pedagogy and where and how to integrating new ways of learning into my classroom.

Thank you for lifting me up!


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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere