Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Secret of Getting Ahead and Getting Started

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into smaller manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

I found this in one of those free flyers you read in a fast food place and this quote jumped out at me. This applies to so much in my life now and when I was a student. I find the hardest thing to do is getting started. When I write blog posts, I have trouble deciding where to get started and have a bunch of ideas but not sure which one to build on. I have learned that I just need to pick one and get started. Sometimes this will lead me to a different idea that I can build on better but unless I get started, I never know where I will end up. I have a built in GPS system in my car where I can put in my destination and it will tell me how many miles and how much time to my destination. The only thing I have to do is get started in order for the calculations to take place. If I just sit still, nothing happens.

This also happens to me when I do crocheting. I have the hardest time starting a new project, but once I get started I hate to put it down. While I’m working on a project, I find my mind moving ahead to other projects I would like to do or ones I would like to learn. For some reason, the creative juices don’t flow if I’m just sitting still.

My husband and I feel this way when we start our walking regiment after a period of non walking. We used to walk 4 miles every day when we were at home but if we go on vacation, we have to start all over again. We start to break our routine into 1 mile segments and plan on walking one mile a day. Then if we feel up to it, we add another mile a day for a few days. As we continue, we get stronger and add more until we get up to 4 miles a day. Another thing that helps is that we encourage each other when one of us is ready to give up.

I have to remember that this happens with my students too. Sometimes it is hard for them to get started and I need to find a way to motivate them. I also need to show understanding when they have trouble getting started but nudge them to move in the right direction. If they realize that I too have been there, and will be there again in the future and that it is a normal part of life, students might not be stuck in one place. I hope by realizing this feeling, accepting that this feeling is normal, and moving in the right direction, my students can be more successful in my classroom.

Photo credit: one small step for penguin by foonus

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