The heart of the aloe
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What I learned in 20 years of teaching…

One of my favourite poems is ‘you get proud by practising’ By Laura Hershey.

Those tiny actions that you repeat every day?

They change you.

Growing butterfly bush or buddleia in Australia is a wonderful option

Your tiny daily actions change your muscles and posture—ever seen the way a cellist or violinist holds their head at the dinner table?

They way you regularly think changes the way your mind works.

People who do systematic work become increasingly technical.

People who learn a style of deductive reasoning such as lawyers become increasingly bound by rules and logic.

Grevillia in flower

Your speech and communication habits change your relationships.

Have you ever noticed how many psychologists have similar communication techniques or attitudes?  Or how teachers adopt a particular metre when speaking to 5 year olds?

Have you ever been talked down to by someone when they should have been talking up to you?

Sun shines light on the harbour

Your tiny repeated actions don’t just change what you do everyday, they change fundamental aspects of how you are in the world. They change your identity and your internal processes.

So my advice, for anyone really is to pick something to learn.

Could be a language, could be a way of walking, could be a skill, could be a craft, could be a body of knowledge, could be a sport, could be just about anything:

But pick something, and work on it for 5 minutes on a regular basis.

In time, I almost guarantee you’ll be really proud of yourself and how far you’ve come.

And I’ll be proud of you, too.

Note: None of the links in this post are affiliate links, but they do build my blog.

6 thoughts on “What I learned in 20 years of teaching…”

  1. These changes help us grow and better ourselves ~ I love learning and your post makes me happy thinking about all the opportunities to be better and the wonders of the world xx

  2. That’s an intriguing hypothesis, Gill. You are absolutely right. I worked in mental health for years and I automatically shift into counselling mode when someone shares a problem with me. Blogging has helped me hone my writing skills, if not my grammar…😊

    1. I love your writing skills 🙂 A story leads to a story leads to a story 🙂 Just like your name says! ChattyKerry! What did you learn from mental health that you apply to your life today?

      1. Thank you, Gill. Although I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, I learned to listen, carefully, when I worked in mental health. Sometimes people with delusional thoughts talk about the same things again and again but if you move past that and tune in for an undercurrent, you can get to the root of a present problem. Given that I come from a family stuffed full of genetically inherited mental illness, it helped me communicate in a different way.

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