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The Best Plans...

Posted by on in Education Leadership
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I had it all figured out. Take the kids to daycare. Then, go work on cleaning up email. Post the new questions for the summer book studies. Write a blog post. Maybe even get through a Google module for certification.


It was all going so well until...the phone call from daycare. Argh! Who is sick? What happened? I answered apprehensively, because those phone calls are never good. My oldest has a spot on his forehead and it needs to be looked at. Bummer. I saw it this morning, but didn’t think much about it.


Grrr….So, I raced to daycare, raced to the mobile clinic. He was fine, just a little infection. Got medication, took him back to daycare, and went right back to work. 90 minutes gone. The best laid plans went awry.


Whether it is a personal plan, a lesson plan, or just a plan for the school day, the best plans will not always go as planned. We are pretty used to this kind of scenario. I create my list to do every day, with all of the great intentions in the world to complete all the tasks. However, in one small moment, that list heads straight out the window, and my attention and heart needs to attend to another situation. It is no one’s fault. It is simply life. Not everything can go as planned. And quite honestly, that would be boring!


I’ve been reading the inspiring book, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. He shares a wonderful concept called “reframing”. We may not get excited by everything we do or teach, but we can reframe our thinking, pulling in our passions to excite our students.


Today was a perfect case for “reframing”. While I was quite annoyed at first by this phone call, I simply reframed the circumstance as this: I have the wonderful opportunity to see my son one-one-one! And along with that, I have the opportunity to reflect and write about this exact circumstance, something I wasn’t planning on writing about in the first place.


Flexibility is an essential skill. But along with flexibility comes reframing. We can change our plans, but we must also reframe how we think of that change in plans. In education, we have to be very flexible in our plans, as we never know what may happen next or how our students may react to what we teach. However, our mindset with that change is just as, or even more important. We must reframe how we think about it. We can stomp around and complain about the change. (This is what I started to do this morning.) Or, we can reframe how we look at the situation, changing our outlook of the change.


Reframing. This is a word I am going to put on my desk. On my computer. Everywhere around me. One word reminds me that I have the power to look at every situation differently. I have the power to change my outlook when something doesn’t go exactly as I had planned. And I have the power to help others change their frame of mind as well by modeling reframing, the positivity essential to carrying out a positive outlook in life.



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Amy Heavin is the principal at Ryan Park Elementary School, MSD of Steuben County in Angola, IN. She has been a school administrator since 2010, and taught middle school English for 8 years prior. Passionate about curriculum and instruction, she pursues learning opportunities to blend 21st century essential skills instruction with best practices. As a moderator for the #INeLearn Twitter chat and contributor for EDWords and Fractus Learning, she promotes integration of strong pedagogy with technology in the classroom. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyHeavin

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Guest Friday, 15 February 2019