No Need to Panic: Make Lists
September 30, 2008
Making lists helps me to eat the elephant — one bite at a time. Make two lists covering what you bring to the teaching table: one listing your strong points, and another listing your weaknesses. List the things that are going well in the classroom and those things that cause you concern. Label the lists however you like, but understand and like who you are and what you have to offer to students and colleagues.
Next, make lists of things that you can change and things that you can’t change. When you finish making those lists (and any other that you can think of), take time to reflect and decide what action to take on each item, if any.
Making lists can help bring real fears out into the open, uncover vague misapprehensions, and help direct your actions. When you do act, act on those things that you can change, learn to work with or around those that you can’t, prioritize your actions, and enlist help when you can.