When I decided to start running, I put on my sneakers, stretched, and went for a run. I tried hard that first day to go further then I had gone before which was run for 58 minutes instead of 57. I managed it, so the next day, I tried it for a bit longer, and I managed it so then I tried a bit faster, and a bit faster after that, and a bit longer, and longer. Every time I surprised myself by managing to do it. Up until that first run I had only once ran 10km. Now I can run twice as long and much faster. I tried hard, I was obsessed with it, I tried even though my mind was saying ‘you are a smoker, you are out of shape, you have never ran that far ever, your body will break down, you can’t! But I kept running.
Is trying enough? How much is enough? As teachers we are asked to try all the time. Try this new approach, try to help this individual student, try to accommodate this student, try to be understanding, try and adjust to changes in school policy or the education system and on and on.
Our students know when we are trying and when we are faking it. We always have an audience. It’s the same if you work in many service type industries which is many these days, a waiter, a flight attendant, a doctor, a salesperson, an actor, a shop assistant, a musician, an anchor and on and on. That’s cause everyone wants a service these days, everyone pays to get the best service possible and whether it’s your local market or your flight, or your lesson or your apple and android product you expect service. We got to constantly deliver and it can break us down.
The hardest task
There’s also the trying we do to help our students learn. As a self-employed teacher, once I’m hired, results are expected, so I have to give 100% otherwise our silent contract is over. I mention it because in this day and age, trying, and doing it to our max ability is tough and getting tougher. That’s why we are told to prioritize all the time, organize our life our job our tasks our house duties. Everything needs to be organized, we need to be well-oiled machines day-in and day-out. But is it enough? And isn’t it exhausting? I’m not a robot! So what gives? Maybe it’s doing the hard tasks first, challenging ourselves to do something we couldn’t do before. There’s a very uncomfortable stage in this and it’s usually right at the start of anything that’s challenging. It’s actually so uncomfortable that we don’t want to do it, at all. We want to give up and just relax.
Experience tells me that this is just a stage though and that when we pass it, we will be better. We will be better at this task, we will be better at doing this or that and then we will have learned and improved and be ready and just a bit more prepared, experienced and aware. So don’t be organized and don’t prioritize, just do the hard task first, every time. Choose what is worth doing and do that until it’s not hard anymore. You’d be surprised at the results.