Working in chunks …

Summer Garden

Today was a gorgeous day – cool, gentle breeze, sunny  and perfect for working in the garden.  I know that all that school work was still sitting inside waiting for me.  There are the Words There Way tests to re-score ( don’t tell any one I misplaced the first set we did and my students very nicely took it over again), behavior screeners to do, report cards to do, a grant to finish writing for next year, and my two blogs that I have ignored for weeks.  I felt defeated so turned to the garden.   A place of quiet and green.

It was over run with weeds but for some reason that was not a problem for me.  What is the difference?  Why can I look at a yard full of work and not feel the same defeated feeling as my school work?

As I worked through each chunk of the garden it began to dawn on me.  I take each section of the garden and think just about what is needed for this piece.  I set a doable goal.  I work for an hour or two, I weed in small sections – clip around the rock garden, weed the coral bells, or till the new bed in the front yard.

It is what I wasn’t doing with my own school work.  I was not setting doable goals.  I was looking at all the tasks as having to be done right now instead of chunking the work.  When I switch my thinking to – I will do the report cards now, take a walk and then return to enter behavior work on line.  The grant can be worked on tomorrow morning.   You get the idea I feel much better and can complete everything without that overwhelming feeling.

All this chunking made me think about my students and what might help them next year as they start out as 5th graders who have multiple teachers who will give multiple assignments. ( that overwhelming feeling – you know it and see it on kids faces all the time)

A lesson to learn.   Chunk the work – what are the little pieces you can do to complete your homework from each teacher.

Note to Self:  Teach the art of chunking early in the fall -the steps to being a good student and a great way to get things done.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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