Choices are difficult for me. Mainly, choices are difficult because it’s hard for me to stay focused one direction for long. I was that student who tapped their foot incessantly, chewed the erasers of her pencils, and fidgeted all day long. I was a student who would drive me crazy as a teacher! (The upside of this experience is that I can empathize with that student who taps their foot incessantly and can’t sit still. )
That being said, choices are great and empowering, however, for those of us who have focus issues, they can create major stress. For instance, choosing an independent learning project. For most, this would be an amazing opportunity to learn something they’ve always wanted to do, but for me, it’s stressful. I’ve worked so hard to get my brain to stay focused so that I can follow intricate directions and stay on task while following a syllabus, that giving me “freedom,” can seem crippling.
The independent learning project has been looming in my mind since I found out about it. What should I do? Do I have time to do that? What if I don’t like it? What if I do like it? Can I stick with it, once I start it?
I keep going back to the same question, “what’s important to me?” The same thing is important to me as a person, as a student, as a learner, and as a teacher, I want to have a positive impact on students. I’ll be the first to admit, before my teaching education, I was a screamer. If I didn’t like something, you were going to know it. I was not always the most empathetic and not always the most tactful. What I’ve learned is that a soft, well-spoken word can have a lot greater positive impact on students and people, than a abrupt, assertive voice. I’m not saying not to be assertive, but I’m saying, how you say something is as important, or more important than what you say.
That being said, my focus for the independent learning project is going to be meditation. According to Webster-Merriam, meditation is a form of training ones mind to simply recognize its consciousness. Meditation takes a commitment and a routine. I was intrigued by the mere quantity of different meditation techniques offered. (Choosing one may be my next obstacle to this challenge.) I think it will be interesting to try to achieve a “inner peace,” by meditating. I’m hoping this learning project will teach me how to do more than complete a checklist, but how to create that feeling within myself to help me confidently carry on.