A couple months ago, Angela Watson asked me to co-moderate a summer book study of her newest book, Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching… No Matter What. Well, after reading Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching with The Educator’s Book Club, I knew that this book would be just as amazing, if not, more so! The Unshakeable Summer Book Study officially begins July 6, 2015, and I can’t wait to start discussing with all of the members of the group. (Click on this link or the image above to join. All members will be approved after June 15!)
I’ve already started reading the book and can I just say that this book is phenomenal?! Angela has really hit so many points and struggles that I deal with daily as a teacher. Teaching is truly a juggling act, and we continue to juggle day and night. Seriously. How many of you go to bed and check Pinterest for any last minute ideas before turning out the light? Or maybe Pinterest IS your night light? How many of you are grading at family get-togethers on Sunday? Or planning your lesson at your son’s baseball game on Saturday?
Our personal-lives and work-lives intertwine so seamlessly that it’s easy to lose sight of our priorities. All of our tasks seem equally important and need equal attention.
As for me, I don’t like to disappoint. Myself, or others. I just finished reading Chapter 6 of Unshakeable, titled oh-so-appropriately, Say “No” Without Guilt and Make Your “Yes” Really Count.
I have a problem with saying yes. And, when I say no, it is weighed heavily with guilt, and backed with about 100 apologies and 10 reasons why I cannot commit. I hate to disappoint people: my family, my friends, my students, my coworkers, and the families of my students. Unfortunately, what I found by default is that I was disappointing my family by making so many commitments to everyone else. I was tired, grumpy, and no fun to be around at home. No matter what, disappointment was inevitable. I had to re-prioritize my future commitments, and have been improving… slowly.
I’ve learned to say no to commitments that I knew would stress me and take time away from my family. I’ve learned to say no to commitments that I knew would interfere with my lesson planning for my own students. I’ve learned to say yes to plans that fell within my “pre-approved” time slots based on my family and work schedules. I’ve made these adjustments, but the guilt never left. The apologies still haven’t stopped. And the “excuses” are just abundant. The excuses are the worst part of saying “no”…
Is it possible for Angela to have read my mind?! Or do most of us truly feel the same way? This chapter was packed full of practical advice for anyone who struggles with saying “no”. She understands the struggle, relates to it, and offers great tips to truly say no without guilt!
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I can’t wait to use these tips, because, well, I’m not biting my nails to tell the next person “no”. However, I am more confident that I will be able to better prioritize my to-do list, reframe my mindset about “no”, and truly be able to only make commitments that I can handle with my professional and personal life.
I am so excited to discuss with you all the many AHA moments I have had while reading Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching… No Matter What in The Unshakeable Summer Book Study! Every chapter is incredibly relatable and it is very clear that Angela has, not only, had a lot of personal experience in the classroom, but has worked with and observed many other teachers as well.
Just check out the chapter titles below to see what all Angela covers in Unshakeable!
- Create curriculum “bright spots” that you can’t wait to teach.
- Gain energy from kids instead of letting them drain you.
- Uncover meaning and purpose for every single lesson.
- Incorporate playfulness and make real connections with kids.
- Stop letting test scores and evaluations define your success.
- Construct a self-running classroom that frees you to teach.
- Establish healthy, balanced habits for bringing work home.
- Say “no” without guilt and make your “yes” really count.
- Determine what matters most and let go of the rest.
- Innovate and adapt to make teaching an adventure.
Can’t wait to start discussing with everyone in the Unshakeable Summer Book Study! I definitely couldn’t say no to this commitment!!