Saturday, November 22, 2014

When "Yes" means "No"


As a mother and a teacher, I find myself saying "yes" more than "no."

That wasn't always the case. When my daughters were younger there were many times I had to say "no" because they didn't know how to make decisions beyond their immediate wants and wishes. When I was a new teacher, I said "no" a lot because I thought I could do everything myself. I also said "no" to my students because I wanted to keep the reins of control and in turn, be the keeper of the knowledge.

But, saying "yes" more often allows my children as well as my students to have the opportunity to start making their own choices. Saying "yes" also allows me to pass some of the control onto my children and students, giving them the responsibility for their own learning. Saying "yes" to new ideas, opportunities, and ways of doing things has given me a new perspective in the classroom.

....means No

A new dilemma has appeared though, and that is that oftentimes, when I say "yes" it means "no" something else.

I don't have more than 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Every choice that I make is an opportunity taken or an opportunity missed. And it's not about regret as much as it is about making conscious choices and making my intentions true to myself.

I've become more aware that each time I say "yes" to a new idea or opportunity, I need to (and have to) say "no" to something else. Right now I think my "yes" side of the scale is unbalanced with the "no" side. Maybe that's true for many teachers and mothers.

I need to ask myself questions like these: What things have I been doing that I can let go of? How can I carve out more time for the important things? Which people do I want to say "yes" to, and will they respect my answer of "no" once in awhile?

This quote sums up where I would like to be as I grow into a better decision-maker, so I can continue to say "yes" but weigh out the "no" reasons critically. There are certainly a number of reasons to say "no," so when I do say "yes" I want it to be because I can commit to something I believe in and can still give time to the things in my life that are the most important.

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