At the beginning of the year I always pray about a word to focus on for the coming year. This year the word was GROWTH. I started my teacher certification program in January, so it seemed fitting. I had seen a great video on growth through adversity by Rabbi Abraham Twerski about how lobsters grow that had really stuck with me. Twerski asserts that “The stimulus for the lobsters to grow is that it feels uncomfortable.” My favorite lines is “We have to recognize that times of stress are also times that are signals for growth and if we use adversity properly, we can grow through adversity.” You can watch the full video here:
I have been feeling the uncomfortable for a while now, but am finally feeling like I am shedding the old, hard shell and seeing real growth. It has not been easy, but it has been worth it.
I think the biggest take away from all this for myself is this:
How you look at adversity affects whether your are paralyzed or whether you pursue growth despite the difficulty.
I am also learning to allow my students to be uncomfortable, to stretch themselves and to encourage them to have a good perspective through it. This week I almost changed my lesson plan based on the way the previous lesson had gone. I was thinking that they higher level thinking I was asking for was more than I could expect from these students. My classroom teacher encouraged me to go for it and see what the students could do. I am glad that I did because the result is a fantastic padlet where each student shared their thoughts on the why slavery began in Colonial America and what we can learn from this terrible piece of our nation’s history. The students loved being able to all post notes at the same time and see what they others were writing. (There were a few repeated lines, but overall they did write original thoughts.) I am very pleased at what they were able to accomplish.