Change is good! Change is hard, change is troubling, wonderful, exciting and nerve-racking, but it is through constant change that we grow.
Our ability to make and keep habits is one of the most fascinating aspects of our human experience. Our brain loves its habit forming ability, and the habits that we make are guarded very carefully. This is good. Imagine for a moment a world where we didn’t develop habits. What if every morning we had to re-learn how to eat, walk, or tie our shoes. Re-learning daily would completely change our human experience. We might miss the challenge of changing habits if our ability to form and change them were taken from us. Thinking of life without this ability is kind of like Spider-Man thinking of life without webs. It would be pretty dull for him I imagine. But like Spider-Man, with great power, comes great responsibility. Responsibility to change… to adapt.
All this talk about change has most of us shaking our legs under the table with anxiety. We despise change at the biological, or rather, neuro-chemical level. So with the new changes to our academic schedule at Sunrise, many of us find ourselves on edge a bit; wondering how we are going to provide direct instruction, therapeutic regularity, and stability for our girls. We may find ourselves staring blankly into the void at night while fears swim like weird fish around our headspace… oh wait, that’s just me? Anyway, the point that I am trying to make is that we work at a school which produces the very thing we are often just as scared of as our students; change.
Change is an easy word to preach, talk about in a controlled setting, but implementing it can tap each of us at our fear center.  Because our brain jealously guards the habits it has worked hard to create, it is scared of a world without those habits. For good or bad, each habit that we create serves a purpose in our lives. Replacing habits with new behaviors, although scary, is possible. What better place in fact for us as staff to practice DBT in our own lives then right here at work? Using DBT to implement change in our own habits will provide us the courage we need to become better teachers, staff and therapists and simultaneously give us a better understanding of what our students go through on a day-to-day basis. So be courageous. Change a habit this month and dare to grow. In the end, it will be the moments where we face our fears that make for our best stories.
– written by Josh Kitchen, Teacher