Friday, September 19, 2014

Habit #1 Be Proactive

In fifth grade, the classroom teachers and I are piggy-backing off of each other to reinforce Sean Covey's The Seven Habits of Healthy Kids.  This book emphasizes 7 habits that help children be happy, successful individuals in our world.

The 7 habits include:
  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw
Each week the teachers read a different chapter of the book and discuss the habit with their students.  The following week I come into the classroom and reinforce the habit through a series of activities.

The first habit we began with was "Be Proactive." 

You're in Charge

I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.

I came in carrying two bottles: a soda bottle and a water bottle.  I started by saying that sometimes things go wrong, and we feel shaken up.  For example, I might hit snooze on my alarm clock and arrive tardy to school (shake soda bottle).  I might drop my school books while I'm switching classes (shake soda bottle a little more).  I might forget to bring my homework back to school (shake soda bottle even more).  All of these things could easily knock us off of our game.  As a result, we might explode on someone or something (pretend to open soda bottle).  After all the "ooooo's" and "aaaaaa's", I explained that this is called being reactive.  Has this ever happened to you?  What happened and why?  Was this a good way to let go of all of your feelings?  Why or why not?

Next, I went through the same scenarios but instead with shaking a water bottle.  When I went to open it students immediately know nothing was going to happen.  I explained that this is called being proactive.  When we are proactive, we make a choice about how we will react to the things that happen in our lives.  We might get shaken up or mad, but we stay calm and don't explode.  Is it hard to stay calm (like a water bottle) even when things don't go our way?  Why or why not?  What steps can we take to be more proactive and calm when things aren't going well?

I then passed out a short quiz to help students figure out if they tend to be more reactive or proactive. 

We discussed ways to be more proactive, one of which being aware of what we have control of in our lives.  When we focus on things we CAN control, we are being more proactive.  When we focus on things OUTSIDE our control, we are being more reactive.

I gave students a blank organizer and they brainstormed the many things they do and do not have control over in their lives.  After sharing out, our discussion focused on changing how we handle things.  We can make a choice to be positive and focus on those things that we CAN change.

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