Thursday, 30 March 2017

Borrowing Trouble

Over 10 years ago I published my first online article - a reading lesson for the International Reading Association's website ReadWriteThink.  The lesson was called A Bad Case of Bullying and is linked to the book A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.  My original lesson was for primary grades but the reviewers and IRA suggested I revise the lesson for junior grades.  Since this was my first time trying to publish something, I revised and resubmitted and was accepted for publication.

Yesterday (March 27/17) I received a tweet from RWT saying that they had had an email request from a reader to contact me about this lesson.  YIKES!  For some reason, I immediately went to 'worst case scenario' mode.  They hate the lesson. There is something horribly wrong with it.  But wait - it was reviewed by three peer reviewers and by the staff at RWT.  It must be okay - right?

I hadn't looked at the lesson in years and when I went online to check, I had never noticed that you could leave comments.  And there were comments.  Nice ones:

So after a few emails, we were able to connect on the phone last night. Turns out, she was a graduate student studying for her Masters of Library Science in Chicago.  She is going to use my lesson in an assignment for a class she is taking and she has to teach it as a demonstration lesson while her classmates act as the students.  We talked about differentiating instruction for students with special needs, we talked about how to provide multiple and varied opportunities for assessment and how to modify the lessons for different age groups. It was a lovely conversation and I'm sure she'll do well on her assignment.

My grandmother used to warn me 'Don't borrow trouble.'  I guess ever since I was a kid I would worry about things that hadn't happened yet and, in many cases, never did happen.  Looking at this through a self-reg lens, I can see that this adds unnecessary stress to my life.  I think it will be challenging to try to break this old habit. Perhaps next time I find myself starting to 'borrow trouble' I need to stop and ask myself why and why now?  

Anyone else have this tendency to borrow trouble?  What are your strategies for catching yourself when you do and turning it off?

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