"What's the matter with your life?
Why you gotta mess with mine?
Don't keep sweatin' what I do
'Cause I'm gonna be just fine check it out"
-"None of Your Business" by Salt-N-Pepa
Chopping peppers, Oprah's Super Soul Conversations podcast streamed through my hearing aids, keeping me company while I prepared dinner. (Lest you think hearing aids aren't cool- c'mon people! You can steam podcasts through them! And music! And Voxer! Oh, the joys of finally addressing your hearing loss. But I digress...)
This week's episode was with Byron Katie who is new to me. The show notes say she is a best-selling author, speaker and teacher. If I'm keeping it real, she lost me many times and I kind of think she lost Oprah too, because of those clarifying questions Oprah kept throwing out there. One thing she said really struck me- there are 3 kinds of business: God's business, my business and everyone else's business. My job is to worry about my business and my business only.
It made me think about my decisions as a teacher. I'm most unhappy at work when I'm thinking of things I cannot control- when I'm railing against curricular calendars or state tests or the required hours teachers are in front of students vs. other countries where teachers get more time to plan, assess, etc. I'm happiest when I'm staying in my lane, so to speak, doing the actual work of teaching real children, making decisions and planning lessons that will affect my students.
"What concrete steps can I take to be a more thoughtful, intentional teacher?" is the question I must ask instead of trying to solve the broken parts of the education system. What are the things I can directly control and thus improve about my teaching and the learning experience of my students? There is where I will make an impact and there is where I will find more happiness again as a teacher.
What are your thoughts on Byron Katie's view of three businesses?
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski