Are you stuck in roadrunner mode and realizing the tremendous toll it is taking on you?  Do you feel like you can’t keep going at the pace that is being placed upon you right now?

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview Carl Honoré, Canadian journalist, International bestselling author, TED speaker, and voice of the Slow Movement, as my first guest on the new Teacher Talk platform on YouTube. I reached out to Carl because, in my quest post-pandemic to slow down and to live boldly, I was so intrigued with his work and his contributions to creating a slow-down revolution. As I read through his books, took his courses, and listened to his TED talks I was blown away to find someone, like me, who is fast-thinking, fast-moving, and fast processing, but could also come into the world of slow living. 

Slowing yourself down is a big thing right now.

It was a thing before the pandemic, but the last few years have vaulted it to the forefront of our awareness. As Carl says, “the pandemic was a global workshop in slowness.” Although it was mandatory and forced upon us, many of us got a taste of a different rhythm and an understanding of a different way of moving through the world.

This time allowed us a little more space
to grapple with the existential questions:

“Who am I?” 

“Am I living the right life for me?” 

“What do I love?” and 

“What do I need?”

I’m so thrilled to share this conversation with you. I truly enjoyed this chat with Carl and believe that we as educators need more and more permission to slow down in and out of our classrooms.

My takeaways on slowing down:

We can go further when we slow down.

(3:20) But just to clarify, being slow doesn’t mean moving slowly, and being fast isn’t always better or quicker. In this great interview, Carl and I talk about what a slow and fast mindset means and how in fact we can often go further and more sustainably when we go slower. And it also doesn’t mean we never go fast – but instead, we find the correct rhythm for ourselves in our life.

Confronting an addiction to speed.

(5:25) Carl shares what spurred him to slow down and how he realized he was racing through his life instead of living it and decided to confront his own addiction to speed.

So many of us don’t know how to shift into slow and are resistant because change is hard and as Carl says, “Change is also slow.” Fast is sexy – there is a need for speed and we think having more is better, but is it doing more harm in schools than helping?

Ways we can move towards slowness within education.

(15:18) Carl suggests three ways in which we can create a movement towards slowness in education. 

  1. He encourages us to start at home with ourselves learning practices and permissions to move, think, and act slowly so that we can embed and embody these practices as we move them into our classroom and our school cultures.
  2. Then, once at school, look for where you can carve out space or time for discovery and open-ended inquiry – it’s less about the clock and more about the moment.
  3. Finally, go outside the classroom and create a rethink in your school – getting head teachers, and administrators on board – creating community, and collaborations, and getting out of our silos to create the language around slowing down. 

What is gained by slowing yourself down?

(21:15) Carl shares the biggest gains to slowing down: first and foremost, in his relationships. You can’t accelerate human relationships. Slowing down gave him time, attention, and presence – this is where relationships flourish and gave more moments of joy to his day.

This conversation is going to give you an insight into what a slowdown movement may look like for you. It will give you permission to prioritize slow living in and out of your classroom, and it may make you laugh as two fast-thinking, fast-driven people share their reasons and experiences, including the challenges, of being slow and living slow.

I can’t wait to hear what you think. Please comment on the post and give your feedback and questions. If you’re looking for more tips and practices for slowing down then don’t forget to follow along with me on Instagram for regular insights, invitations, and insider information on upcoming opportunities to go slow, stay present, and be bold.

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