Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Slice of Life - "We Become What We Pay Attention To" - Sue Monk Kidd

I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
I think I'm finally ready to move on from writing mini memoirs.  The March SOLSC took me that direction, and I really enjoyed looking back on my childhood.  I may revisit that genre now and then, though. 
Over spring break, I read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and loved it.  I read the Kindle version since it was part of Oprah's Book Club 2.0.  When I got home, I ordered the hard copy because it's one I want on my bookshelf to lend out and reread.
The Invention of Wings
On Sunday, I watched "Super Soul Sunday" on OWN to see Oprah's interview with Sue Monk Kidd, and one part of the show struck me.  Oprah and Sue started talking about prayer and what it means to pray, and then Sue said, "We become what we pay attention to." 

We become what we pay attention to.  What does that mean for me in my life?  What do I pay attention to?  Do I put feet to my prayers?  Am I fully present?  How does that translate to my walk with God,  my writing and reading, my teaching, my time with my family and friends?  For this slice, I'm going to think about teaching.
Testing at my school is right around the corner, and I know we have to pay attention to that.  But when I think back over the last couple years, some of the best of my entire teaching career, I know I've been paying attention to things much bigger than what the state thinks of my students (and me).  I've been paying attention to what my students want to read, write, and talk about. I've been paying attention to how they talk to each other about books and life.  I've been paying attention to what they want to hear read aloud, what authors have to say to them, and their stories.  Because of the social media, blogging, and conference communities I belong to, I've been paying attention to positive and passionate educators, ones who read and write along with their students, think innovatively, and who love what they do.  Through the same avenues, I've been  paying attention to authors and illustrators who enrich our lives and encourage us to tell our stories. I've been paying attention to how to solve problems instead of make them.  I've been paying attention to how I can contribute to the field of education and what I can learn from others.  I've been paying attention to celebrations.  I've been paying attention to what I want to become.
What have you been paying attention to?  There are so many things that vie for our attention.  It is so tempting to complain, to become complacent, to feel defeated.  To worry.  To be afraid.  To doubt.  I venture to say we all lose focus sometimes and pay attention to those negative things, but we don't want to become these things.  Let's pay attention to what matters and become who we want to be.