Recently we had a new teacher start with us two days a week. He is working in a class that has had a lot of change this year. It’s tough for everyone. Half way through his first day, I got a chance to check in with him just before lunch ended. After hearing a little bit about his day and answering some questions, I had basically 2 minutes to offer a little advice.
Quick advice has to be extra meaningful. Sparse words. Limited time. Lots to convey. Must be memorable. What to include and what to leave out would take me hours to decide on if asked to write a post on what advice I would give to someone in two minutes. But on the spot, you have only two minutes to fill exactly two minutes and that’s all delivery time. Don’t waste it thinking!
What did I say?
It went something like this:
- Think in 7 minute increments. Don’t get anxious about thinking about the whole afternoon. Think about the next seven minutes. 7 minutes at a time. And it all becomes doable.
- Take full credit for everything that goes well. The stuff that doesn’t? Don’t take it personally and don’t feel wholly responsible. There are a lot of reasons things happen. You are one small piece of it. Unless, it goes really well. Then, clearly, all you.
- Like the kids. Make it really obvious that you do. Smile at them. Notice interesting things. Give them sincere compliments. Be kind.
- Give students voice. Find ways for them to feel like they have some ownership, like they are directing a bit of the day, that what they think actually matters. It can be really simple – simply ask if they liked something. Talk about why.
- Come back.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.