I am particularly weak in reversing my routes. I used to rationalize that going backwards was difficult because everything looks different in its opposite view. It is a challenge for me to find my way back from an exam room in a doctor’s office to the waiting room. Whether emerging from an elevator or subway station, or approaching a street intersection, I end up going the wrong way most of the time.
My excitement about attending this year’s International Literacy Association (ILA) conference in Boston has vied with concern over my unreliable internal compass. How will I navigate the convention center? How am I going to find the sessions in a timely manner? How will I get unlost and stay relatively composed (well, maybe I should say regain my composure)? To make things worse...I discovered some of the sessions are in another building.
I found myself echoing the questions I ask my students: what is a strategy that will help you? What can you do? Have you tried…? I needed to find tools and use them. Here was a real-life experience that demonstrated the importance of strategies.
I also realized (as I am in the middle of reading A Mindset For Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz**) that I can use self-talk to stay grounded. I will rely on optimism and persistence. More importantly, I will go for resilience which will be sorely needed. In the back of my mind, I will reassure myself that I will come out of the weekend with a story to tell. I can do this.
**I love this book. I love the writing and its central theme of promoting joy and independence in the classroom.