The life of a teacher is a life of a planner. We could get into the whole "But plans rarely go as you expect them to so the life of a teacher is the life of an improviser..." but I'm not gonna do that. Maybe another time. But today, we're going with "The life of a teacher is the life of a planner."
A phrase I'm sure all teachers know is Swuh-Bat. It's actually spelled SWBAT but it's usually pronounced Swuh-Bat. SWBAT stands for "Students will be able to..." and then you state what they'll be able to do. Ideally this something is something they weren't able to do before. Isn't the point of teaching to teach kids how to do something they couldn't do before? For example maybe in a second grade class, "Students will be able to recite the multiples of five." Great.
I took a class this semester that I did not love, but that's a whole other bucket of fish. We were encouraged first, to let students know what your expectations are of them, actually tell them what they should be able to do by the end of the lesson... and second, we were encouraged to drop the phrase "SWBAT" and pick up the phrase "IWBAT", I will be able to. This makes concepts more concrete for students. They read an IWBAT phrase and know what they, personally will be able to do.
Now. I'm a leech. I just loath that about myself. It's something I'm struggling with so much right now. I demand so much and give so little. I demand money for living. I demand money for tuition. In my situation right now, I provide little of either to my family. In fact, I provide little of anything to anyone. And furthermore, I have this egotistical attitude that demands to be treated like I give everything to everyone.
I can't stand to look myself in the mirror for long amounts of time. It tears me apart. And it tears me apart even more that I throw myself these ridiculous pity parties.
One such pity party was going down a few Sundays to go. I wallowed in woes. Woe is me... Seems like the way to get out of a woe is me is to be gentle and say "Oh hey, come on now, you're not so bad..." to myself. That doesn't work, for some reason. I get out of woe is mes by being hard on myself. By slapping my face and telling myself to shape up. So I did.
I've found empowerment in the "I will be able to..." There is so much that I haven't done, and I can't do right now simply because somethings take time. It takes time to get to where you want to be. But I'm creating these I Will Be Able To phrases to give me goals to work for. To work out of being a leech. So here are my IWBAT phrases.
I will be able to become a teacher to help children learn and find excitement in education.
I will be able to put others above myself and have empathy towards their needs.
I will be able to give back to my family every bit they've given to me by being a friend and a daughter and by serving them with love.
I will be able to be a good wife to Joe by supporting him ruthlessly (that word needs to be used for so much more than what it's used for...)
I will be able to be a better me by developing my relationship with God through prayer, scripture study, and service to others.
I will be able to forget myself and go to work.
I will be able to make a difference in the world through small actions that leave lasting impressions.
I will be able to see others as God sees them.
I will be able to serve ruthlessly in my calling.
I will be able to be the person I want to be. Some day. Not now, but I'm working towards it. Some day.
These are things right now that I'm not perfect at. But I'm learning. I'm a student. I'm me. But I will be able to do them some day, and that empowers me, and gives me a definition of what I'm working towards.
And also? I looked up ruthless. It means not showing compassion. That's a shame. I want to redefine it.
I will be able to redefine ruthless.
We'll see about that last one.