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Obstacles are what make things hard to do. If making a needed improvement in your life or your class were easy, you would have done it already. Here are some ways to identify obstacles and some suggestions for overcoming obstacles. 

Identifying Obstacles

1. Make sure you are addressing the right obstacle. Find the real reason. As an example, you might think your obstacle is that you just cannot organize your schedule. However, maybe the real issue is that you have trouble saying no to demands on your time from others. 

2. Ask yourself some tough questions: 

     When I tried to improve my teaching in the past, what got in the way?

     What resource or tool would make all the difference in my class?

     What beliefs do I hold about my class? How well are those beliefs serving me?

3. Pay attention to your emotions. Which parts of teaching do you dread or frustrate you? Which parts of teaching Bring a Smile to your face?

Overcoming Obstacles

1. Pray. Inspired decision making is a great blessing. It is like autocorrect when you are typing: You can make a ton of mistakes, but with the help of the Spirit everything will come out fine in the end. 

2. Brainstorm 5 options on how to overcome your obstacles. Even if you think of two or three good ones, stretch yourself to think of five. 

3. Imagine life with the obstacle gone. How would that change your experience? Your student’s experience?

4. Use all of your available resources and past experiences. TGL’s, OCR’s, fellow instructors, The Online CommunityInstructor Guides for IL3, OL200, Coaching, are just a few of the resources that are available to you. 

5Act or Be Acted Upon. Ultimately, we have to work on overcoming our obstacles. In the process of trial and error, you will succeed. The scientist in me likes to approach obstacles like experiments. Eventually, you will have your Eureka! moment and find out what works for you!

 ...and now for Bob Ross! Wouldn't it be nice if we had as much passion for teaching as Bob Ross had for painting? When we have passion, our obstacles will melt away!

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  • I believe, I believe that I will be watching this over and over.  LOVED it!  And humor is something that helps me be a better instructor.  :)  Thanks, Lynn!

  • Thanks for this. This is a topic I have thought about recently. There is an interesting Buddhist quote that says, "The obstacle is the path."  I have pondered over that quite a lot. I wonder if anyone has any insights about that concept?  Is there any truth to that conundrum?

    • I think so Sarah. I believe that Heavenly Father knew what obstacles we would face in this life. Maybe the failures or challenges provide the characteristics that we most need to develop. Faith is a big part of powering through our obstacles. If you can sift through the hokey parts, I found this article had some interesting insights: The Obstacle is The Way

  • You know, I needed this today. Not necessarily for teaching, or just teaching, but these applications can apply to many other things in our lives also. I am glad to have the opportunity to think over these things and how they apply to me. :) 

    • Your welcome Summer. Self-reflection is one of the activities that I tend to do the least, even though it can often help me the most.

  • You had me at Bob Ross!

    • So glad that I am not the only one who loves the Ross! ;)

  • Now I have that song stuck in my head! ;)

    • Bwahaha! That is my best evil internet laugh Cynthia :)

  • What  great post! As I was reading the suggestions, I found myself branching out of my online teaching role and asking myself these questions about my other responsibilities (day job, callings, family, etc.). The one that stood out to me the most was suggestion #3: Paying attention to emotions. 

    And of course, who doesn't like a little Bob Ross? His story is great. From what I understand, he made very little money on his art and on this tv program. He did it because he loved painting.

    It made me wonder..... Who is a teacher that I know whose main motivation for teaching is because they love teaching?

    Thanks for a happy post to start off the day.

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