There are situations that can trigger uncomfortable memories and cause us to become for example, excited, challenged, or insulted. There is a risk that, whilst triggered, we speak. It's not us who's speaking but our excited, challenged or insulted self. And, it can say some crazy things.
To be an empowering educator, you need to have the presence of mind to pause before our excited, challenged, or insulted-self says something. You need to develop your mental agility, balance and resilience.
Agility: the ability to move away from the negative feelings offered
Balance: the ability to return to neutral feelings quickly
Resilience: the tendency to remain unaffected
There are many situations that can trigger you to become for example, excited, challenged, or insulted:
How well do you normally do?
Take a couple of minutes and reflect. On a scale from 1 to 10 (best), how did you do?:
- Agility (moved away from the negative feelings offered)
- Balance (returned to your normal state quickly)
- Resilience (not affected)
Strategy: Visualise and clarify (for your mind)
What target will you set for the next three weeks?
What does that look/sound like?
What responses do you choose to have at a higher level?
Strategy: Pause, breathe then respond
Pause before your excited, challenged, or insulted self, says anything. Give it time to express itself internally, then let it walk off stage.
Strategy: Plan and rehearse your responses
For the full positive benefit, these responses need to be spoken with full authenticity. If in doubt, record yourself saying these aloud and listen. Is there any sarcasm in your voice?
For example, Late arrivals
- I am glad you arrived safely, you are welcome
- Ah, now we have a real reason to summarise what has already happened in this lesson. Who can begin?
- Hmmm, I'm restructuring this lesson a bit to include what just happened
- (Said with love, humour and theatrical gestures) Just throwing my lesson plans out the window, aaand, restructuring, beep, beep. I'm ready.
- I would love to chat with you about what kept you from arriving on time, but not now. Maybe later.
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