MAWMonday Motivators 10/23/2016

hardteacher-760x551As I read term papers from students this week, I began to think about my passion for helping people and my own journey through life. Would I have become the person I am if I had been saved from some of the disappointments and outright failures I endured? How can I know that my help is not an enabling that saves another from their most important lesson? I resolved that it always good to be kind. It is also important to listen to the response given. It is not your gift that enables, it is their choice that reveals.

Life gives you both trouble and enjoyment, opportunity and disappointment, faith affirmed and faith questioned. The question is, “What are you going to do with what you have been given?” Your choice reveals your character. Learn from life, the hardest teacher. Fail quickly. Admit when you are wrong. Believe and move even when you cannot see. Then, realize your success.

Twitter is with me offering tough lessons this week. Failure, Faith, and Finding. What will you do?

1. Hard Teacher
The test first! A great way to assess preparedness. It’s a research technique for gauging the efficacy of an intervention. Pre-test and post-test. You task is not to worry about the score on the pre-test. You are expected to perform less well in a situation you have not rehearsed. You are expected to stumble some in a new context. The pre-test provides you with heightened awareness. It stimulates your reasoning to make you open to the knowledge that will be shared. When you hit upon information that reminds you of the pre-test, you hold that information more dearly than other information. If the pre-test is done well, and if you connect the new information with the pre-test in the context of your learning, the post-test will be a moment to shine. Seems to me that this is less “hard teacher” and more “teaching excellence.”

2. The Process
Early in my teaching career, I had a student who was exceptionally well-prepared. She was head and shoulders above other students. Her papers were polished and robust. Her tests were flawless. Her class engagement was productive and insightful. And, she was miserable with the course. She wanted me to find something to criticize her on. She realized what I was not attune to at the time. She knew that failure was necessary to her growth and development.

Today, I have the solution in my repertoire. For each of my courses, I have the standard lesson–the lesson that she would excel in. I also offer an advanced project. This would have challenged her and offered opportunity for her to stretch herself. I also include remediation and “catch-up” resources for students who may not be as well prepared.

If you are not failing, you are not learning. If you are only failing, you must expand your information resources. Either way, get comfortable with failure and learning from failure as integral to your growth and development process.

3. Admit It
I have witnessed clients, students, politicians, pundits, and clergymen stand pridefully in denial and stubbornness. Thankfully, I have also witnessed the same in humility and self-awareness wrestling with an articulation of acceptance and self-reactiveness. It is not question which I prefer. As an educator, I promote humility as a requirement. When you are wrong, just admit it and grow. Notice I didn’t say admit and move on. That realization must be processed and evaluated for integration into who you are. Without this step, you never grow. Take the time to reflect on your process, accept your shortcomings, review your miscalculations, and engage for a more sustainable community and productive experience.

4. Believe It
Trouble has a sneaking way of hiding opportunity and the potential for joy-filled outcomes. Perhaps the most challenging of tasks is to maintain a positive attitude when everything is going wrong. What you must realize is that you can cry! You can complain. You can even curse. The key is to release the emotion and negative energy in some sustainable way. Get away from others so there is no friendly fire, but release. Run, scream, or do as many push-ups as you can before tiring yourself. Release that energy so that you can see beyond it. Remember that the absence of hope and encouragement, light and joy only anticipate a dawning of brilliance and achievement. Darkness is only part of the cycle. The morning is rising just as certain as the evening fell.

5. See It
Release the negative energy so that you can live within the positive energy. It is more than just choice. It is sight. That’s why positive talk, good vibes, and the law of attraction work. When you can see yourself in the sustainable, the beautiful, and the fulfilling, you watch your behaviors, your confidence, and your assurance. You begin to model what you see yourself doing in your vision. You become what you have seen. And, thereby you bring to pass what you hoped for. Motivate yourself to do by observing yourself in the process and enjoying the smart work.