Mastery and flow within our teaching practice
Although I read Daniel Pink's book Drive last year, I keep it close and refer back to it from time to time. I actually have both the book itself and the audiobook. Drive is really a must read book as there are a number of ideas and concepts that are immediately applicable in education and in our own teaching practice.
As I was once again listening to the audiobook (these past few days on walks home from school), I was reminded about the concepts of mastery and flow. Mastery is ever elusive in our profession, however there are times that it seems like we are close only to have it slip from our hands. This is how it should be as it forces us to constantly strive for excellence in our daily practice.
What I am more interested in is the concept of flow. When I think of my very best lessons and most rewarding teaching moments, what was it that made these times so special? As Daniel Pink says, when we lose all sense of time in what we are doing, chances are we are in flow. According to the book Drive, repeating and increasing moments of flow over time leads us on a quicker path to mastery.
Sometimes I feel as though I am in flow when I take notes in my journal and plan the lessons I will have my students engage in. Other times I feel in flow when I am blogging about something I am passionate about. Regardless of whether flow happens when I am teaching, planning, or blogging, it is important for me to get down to the nitty gritty in terms of why it happens when it does. Knowing what exactly was happening when we were in moments of flow helps in making flow repeatable to us. Excellent advice from Pink that I wanted to share in this blog post.
So, as I reflect more on flow within my own instructional practice and life, I am excited to look for patterns and to try to consciously create an environment that will help me find flow more often, especially when I am with my students. Thanks for reading.