Why Not?

During the 2009-10 school year, I decided to try something new every month. I really enjoyed the attitude that created in me, the idea that I could stretch, push, expand my horizons and that there were still many things in life that I wanted to try.

But over the last few months, I've floundered a bit. I've been overwhelmingly busy now that I'm coordinating the English credential program again. That job creates a great deal of stress in my life, I guess because I want to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that our English Education majors feel like they get good advising. I think I've still been trying new things, but I haven't been feeling the same expansion that I felt last year.

So yesterday, I realized what my next year should focus on. It's actually quite similar to the "try new things" year, only this time, I really want to challenge the negative thinking that holds me back from creating new structures and new ways of doing things. I'm going to challenge myself to think "why not" instead of caving to the idea that things are unchangeable. A lot of this will have to do with my job. For example, I plan to create podcasts related to advising. I'm going to invite learning directors at schools to attend our new master teacher meeting, as a way to try to help them understand what our vision for student teaching is. I plan to regularly force myself to think about other ways things could be done.

Although much of the work I want to do over the next year is related to my job, I hope that attitude will spill over to my every day life as well. I want to re-think how I relate to the world and try to transform how I live every day.

This feels really ambitious; I know that real change takes time. I'm thinking this endeavor won't result in the easy-to-measure listing of the one new thing I did each month. Still, I'm excited to see what effect this has on my life. Great or small, it doesn't really matter to me, as long as I'm challenging myself to be open to new structures and ways of doing things.

3 thoughts on “Why Not?

  1. Jeromy

    Kathee, Since meeting you I have looked up to you as a positive influence. You step outside the box with anticipation of success in all new things you try. Your willingness to stretch yourself has been instilled in me. If we stop trying new things we become ineffective as teachers. Your attitude of trying new things next year has renewed my attitude. I too am stressed by school, union issues, and everyday life, but again you have showed me that those things can not hold us back. Even though you feel overwhelmed, I am sure you students don't recognize it and they are very lucky to have you as an instructor. I can't wait to hear what you do with podcasting. I too say, "Why Not?"

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  2. Ann

    I started your "try something new each month" idea this past summer--although mine was try something new each semester? I entered the photos in the Fresno Fair and didn't win anything, but someone did buy the photo of the Fenway Park original seats that I displayed. I guess the other thing new that I am trying is to take care of myself better than I have been, unfortunately, as you know, I had to let go of a couple of things that I love. (I hope that we are okay). I will continue with the "new thing idea" and embrace your "Why not?" philosophy (within reason of course). Are you sure that you are not a therapist on the side?

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