Thursday, April 10, 2008

Learning from Zen

A zen master once made a statement:

"Your desire to win the race depletes you of your power".

I am remembering this statement as I read Vicki Davis' post. In "Remembering who I am" she discusses through a heartfelt poem and more endearing "Words from my heart" to express how trying to keep up with everything is not important.

She shares what she found after being unplugged for a spell and why it is worthy of sharing.

So, you ask, why do you even share this stuff?

Well, I share it because there are some other teachers out there who may be struggling with being "sucked into the vortex." This vortex of educational change is like a wild stallion... you can jump on his back, but if you're not careful, he'll control your destiny and you'll not master your own.
What I like about her posts is the opportunity to learn something new and apply information. Here are a few simple learning points she mentions:
  1. Know your friends. I have participated in conferences, unconferences, blog posts, etc. and know what she means by those that talk to beginners. Follow the people who treat you with respect. Those that don't have an agenda (translation: ego).
  2. Filter spam ruthlessly - I am all for clearing out the junk.
  3. Filter focus ruthlessly - Really, why are we here? Stay abreast of the greatest tools that make education meaningful and let the rest go. Continue your education through reading and writing. And focus on improving education.
  4. Invest your time in things that save you time. (I am still working on this one and have now waited until others try out all the tools to look at the feedback.)
  5. Common sense. Unplugging is good, having priorities is great, but being flexible with it all is an absolute must.
Remember why we are here and what we are to do. The rest does not matter. Why the race? The focus is not on me but what I can do for others including my family and my students at school. That is the true power that enriches your life. If I ever wonder how Vicki does it all, I know her power resides inside.

Her ending thought:

Master time lest it master you.

In other words, BE PRESENT NOW!

Tags: teaching, education, inspiration, Vicki Davis, zen

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