May 14, 2017
Books are an entryway into the mind of the author or character. Books are also a doorway that leads to knowledge. That is why I love to read. I find that when reading I am directed to another place that may lead to new research, a teaching technique, an author, or genre. Reading is walking through a long hallway to enter a doorway to a new land.
As I was re-entering the doorway of A Mindset for Learning by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz, I came across a statement about will power—-“research shows that interacting with others and maintaining relationships can deplete will power”—that lead me to new territory.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have always associated will power with dieting or fasting during Lent, but never teaching or daily life in general. This statement made me stop and think about will power or self control which for some reason I never consider them one and the same. I always correlated will power with food or an addiction and self-control with physical activity.
But, that statement led me to Google and the door of apa.org. At this site, I gained more information in regards to the quote. I learned that people whose “will power is depleted by self-control show decreased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain which is also involved with cognition.” Apparently, glucose levels can also be effected or depleted by will power and then those levels need to be restored.
I am reading all of this information in regards to the depletion of will power/self-control and that we have a limited reservoir of such, I stop and ask—why didn’t I know more about this or even research this topic before.
We are told to provide physical activity for brain breaks, but this information about will power/self-control explains the reasoning so much clearer. It can lead to effective teaching and interaction within the classrooms.
Desks or furniture aren’t the real issue—the issue is the amount of self-control it takes to sit in one for an hour let alone six. Students needs to be restored, highly motivated throughout the day in order to maintain self-control. Think of it as a muscle. According to the site, self-control needs to be strengthened and built through goals. Set the goal, one at a time, to develop self-control; don’t overload the students because we all know that they get enough of that during a normal school day.
All of these thoughts are swirling through my head and I jot down articles to read more. Then, that leads me to think of my life and questioning maybe this is why I am so exhausted during the day as Mraz and Hertz mentioned. Then…..wait!
Now, I need to practice some self-control. I have a habit of reading a bit and then going off on the idea, but I rarely stop to smell the roses that are in the vase. I need to stay in this lovely room of will power for a bit and enjoy the information that is before me. Put it to practical use for myself and my students. Read on and see where the information may lead.