Quitting Things That Suck

Depending on where you live, at this time of the year you might see any number of these taking place:

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(By: Ramsey Bayer)

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(By: Sarah Korf)

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(By: Derek Bridges)

All three are symbols associated with a period of fasting called Lent.  Without getting too Churchy, this is a time where my family and I think about simplifying and focusing on things that really matter.  It’s a time to deepen relationships and cultivate mindfulness.

I wonder if fasting has a place in the teaching practice.  

So often educators are told to “try this new way of doing ____” or “add this to your lesson/day plans".  I can’t think of the last time that I was told to chop out something that wasn’t working.  I also have never been a part of staff that collectively decided on things that our school or area or district could get rid of.  As educators, our pile grows quickly, and we seldom thin it out.  The funny thing is that there is a lot that we could get rid of to make our classes and schools run smoother.  There is a lot that we could get rid of in order to improve learning for our students.

My friend Kevin Kerr, sent me this about two weeks ago.

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At the time I snickered about it and moved on.  The more I think about the tweet, the more I like what it’s saying.  It’s not about worksheets; it’s about quitting things that suck.

Which makes me wonder about what I should be giving up.  What can be chopped out of my practice? What am I doing, that wastes my time, or (worse still) the time of my students? What can I cut out of my day?… if not forever, at least for a few weeks.

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