All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Friday, 20 May 2005


Following on from yesterday's entry, I am continuing my journey into the weird and wonderful world of self-improvement.

It's really difficult to try and change aspects of one's character, that seem so normal, as to be frighteningly unmanageable. That's how I feel about my temper and in particular, the fact that I shout a lot when I get annoyed. The shouting leads to an outburst and then I've lost total control. What if I stopped (or least minimised) my shouting?

It's going to be a long upward challenge but as the proverb states: "Every long journey starts with the first step". Yesterday, I took that step. After ending up with a sore throat at the end of each lesson, for want of shouting, I decided to take a different strategy: talk.

So I talked to the students and the result was a calm, productive environment. I don't know if this was a one off, but I'm going to try it again with other classes. More importantly, I'm going to try it at home and see if it makes a difference in the way I deal with a situation.

I'll be honest, there is a certain selfish element to this exercise. I have found myself (unconsciously) shouting so much at my students, that my voice is starting to suffer. At times, my voice breaks as I am speaking, so that syllables are not coming through. I need to give the old voice box a rest and shouting can't be doing it any good. So, I'm going to talk - I'm going to make a concerted effort not to shout, even when angry and see if this changes the way I react to situations that frustrate me, where I feel out of control.

I don't know how successful I will be in limiting the shouting, but if I don't try, I'll never know.

Let the "speaking" match begin.

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