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Pushing the Edge

Getting beyond Survive Mode: It’s all in the Mix

Dare to Thrive

 Ever had one of those mornings (perhaps days) when things don’t seem to gell?

Something’s amiss, not quite right.

To put it bluntly, in Australian speak,Something’s out of whack.’

Sometimes you’re oblivious to it yet your students’ notice.

Sometimes you know it, sometimes you feel it but can’t quite put your finger on it

What’s it about? What’s the problem? What’s the issue?

Introducing your Mix

Let’s think of your morning (or day…) as a MIX  – just like a Music Mix.

It’s made up of a whole bunch of tasks and activities:

  • Some tasks/activities are listed in your planner;
  • Some come from your ‘To do’ list;
  • Some are inspired by others. Some come from a calling deep within you;
  • Some arise spontaneously. Some from necessity. Some from management. Some from outside your school.

Put all these tasks and activities together and what have you got? Your MORNING MIX.

Unpacking your Mix

Let’s take a closer look and listen to your MORNING MIX.

It didn’t quite gell. Something wasn’t quite right but you couldn’t put your finger on it. 

Okay, let’s pop on the headphones. Let’s view the footage. Let’s unpack your Morning Mix.

DUD-UNINSPIRED Morning Mixes tend to have two key problems:

1. Workload-related Items drown out the Teacher’s Signature Voice & Style

Workload-related Items may include: Administrivia, Testing, Content Coverage, Class Management, Survive 101 Tasks, and….

    • These Workload-related Items DROWN OUT your SIGNATURE VOICE and STYLE – your UNIQUENESS.
    • They may help you survive;
    • They may get others ‘off your back’; 
    • They may enable you to cross items off that never-ending ‘To do’ list – 

BUT

    • They can tend to dominate the Mix – that’s playing each morning (or day);
    • They’re far too loud and take up too much Space (within the Mix);
    • They overwhelm your Signature Voice and Style;
    • CONSEQUENTLY, they’re a key culprit in the something’s amiss, somethings not quite right feeling that’s been dogging you.

2. The Teacher’s Signature Voice and Style is far too low within the Mix.

As a consequence, students either can’t hear or feel your Signature Voice & Style.

  • Maybe they can hear faint echoes of you BUT they want much more volume and quantity. 

Students want that revved up, inspired teacher that they love – coming through loud and strong within the MIX. 

  • They want their teacher’s signature voice & style cutting through. They want YOU back, big time.

Instead they hear this cacophony of sounds. Sounds that they wish they could fade down or switch off altogether.

Survive mode Mix | bureaucracy-mode Mix  |  Just get through and cover the bases Mix | aren’t MUST-LISTEN TO, MUST EXPERIENCE MIXES.

However, connecting to that which resonates powerfully for you – Turning It Up within the Mix – that’s makes for a HOT MIX that students will definitely buy into.  

How to Stretch beyond Survive Mode: Building a Base to Thrive

1. List the Items that collectively make-up your Mix (for a specific period of time).

  • Total the time given to each item within the Mix? Note this down. 

2. Zero in on the SPACE taken up. 

  • What dominates? What’s lacking? 
  • How much space does your signature voice and style take – within the Mix?
    • Here’s some ideas to help you connect with your signature voice/style.
    • How might you Turn Up the Volume of your Signature Voice and Style?  
  • How much do Workload-related items take – within the Mix? 
    • How might you reduce the space they take up?
    • How might you be more time-efficient – such that you cover what needs to be done – yet keep it contained?

3. Schedule time for your Signature Voice and Style.

Let’s call it the THRIVE Time Mix (for now).  

  • Go to town though and come up with your own MIX Titles. Let us know in the comments box below.

Make the THRIVE Time Mix part of your timetable. It is that important.

  • Just commit to a time to THRIVE. Turn up for it regularly – iterating as you go.   
    • James Clear speaks about the value of routine and scheduling in terms of developing identity based habits.
      • That’s what we’re trying to do here: Form new identities around thriving within the classroom.
    • Here’s some tips to help you thrive.

The Thrive Challenge:

A) To create and then schedule a THRIVE MIX:

  •  where you feel like you’re soaring – being true to your strengths –true to your skills & talents – true to that fierce calling within you. 
  • where you feel like the Workload-related Items are kept contained – lower within the mix itself – not dominating at the expense of your Signature Voice and Style.

B) To create and then schedule a THRIVE mix where your students say:

  • “X [insert your name here] is back. That’s the X we love.”
  • “That was wickedly awesome. ” Or some other compliment that tells you that you’ve CUT Through. 
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