Growth

I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and came across Rubin’s definition of happiness. One of the four requirements is growth.

I’m typically pretty happy, insanely so when I am in charge of a classroom that is working, but one of the underpinnings is not just when things are going well, but when I can feel that my attempts to learn something are bearing fruit.

When I put counters into kids’ hands so that they can tell me how many times I’ve repeated a new structure, or when I tell them I’m working on comprehension checks, or any other sub-skill that is important to helping language acquisition, I find myself growing and improving. Students will actually congratulate me on my progress. That feels great, but I think the main reason it’s satisfying is that I’ve identified a way to improve and can feel the results. Recent Freakonomics podcasts have stressed daily, specific practice to improve skills, adding another piece to my understanding about growth.

There’s much I can continue to apply in my own classes for my students, but I also feel strongly that if I am not growing, I am not as happy with myself. I’m excited for this summer, as I’m hoping to learn a lot: first from a “Teaching Online” class through Startalk, next from the iFLT and NTPRS conferences, and finally, from hanging out with my mom. She’s a wise lady, and I have not always taken advantage of what she can share.

Happy summer!

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