If You Keep Doing What You’ve Always Done . . .

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting what you always gotten.” This phrase, or similar ones have been credited to Jessie Potter, Henry Ford, and others. From what I can surmise, its origin is elusive.


I am being reminded of that phrase today as I sit in aches and pain from the substitute teacher job I did yesterday. I did not make enough money to tolerate feeling this badly today.

My health began to decline once I reached a certain age. I went out on disability in 2015. I signed up this school year to substitute teach, but it sometimes causes me to feel very badly the next day. I often skip lunch because I go in at lunch time, but the class has already eaten. I did that yesterday. I took a box of crackers and ate some of them during the class’s “snack time”, which was late afternoon. This morning I have general aches and feel like I “over-did it” yesterday.

My son, who is in Asia, wants me to just completely retire. That’s easy for him to say. You will not make it on Social Security in America today, if you don’t have something else to go with it.

I never got rich teaching. I haven’t gotten rich writing either, but I haven’t devoted my time to writing like I’ve devoted it to teaching. I taught because I enjoyed it most of the time. As things changed and I got certain principals supervising me, teaching lost some of its joy.

My last, great teaching job was from 2011 to 2015. I had a principal who had taught Reading Recovery and understood exactly what I was doing when I taught Reading. She knew why I did certain practices that may not be in the norm of practices used by many teachers. My methods get results. That was what I was after – results. I’d had training those other teachers hadn’t had, and I used the concepts and methods I’d learned to reach students who struggled to learn to read.

I’m scheduled to go back to teaching in early April – full time – every day. After yesterday, I don’t see how that is going to happen. I’ve thought all along that I would try, but I really don’t think it would be good physically for me to attempt it. But I have to do something.

I started making a series of videos last year on how to teach Reading. My goal was to reach homeschooling parents, because I’d heard Reading was one of the toughest subjects they tackled. It is the easiest subject I’ve ever taught. I’ve also known school teachers who found teaching Reading to be difficult. They follow the manual, when the way I was taught to do it, you follow the child. You go from the known to the unknown and scaffold your way to the success you seek.

I also have designed a series of rhymes for Black History Month and posted it on teacherspayteachers.com    My videos are located at “Readingbymscorbett” on youtube, so I named my teacherspayteachers store the same thing. I thought I’d try selling on that website, but so far I’ve only recently posted those rhymes/pictures that I thought would work well with young students. The last time I checked, none had sold.

I’m not sure if I just haven’t given these ideas time to generate monies, or if they are not as good as I thought they were.

All I know is this morning the phrase “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten” has rumbled through my mind repeatedly.

I’m a very spiritual person. I have a deep belief in God and think we are all gifted differently for the reason we were put here. I am a gifted Reading teacher, but I’m also a gifted writer – or so I’ve been told enough times that I believe it.

It’s time to make a huge change in my life. What I’ve always gotten is not enough any more. What I’ve always done isn’t working for me.

I cannot go through life this tired or in this much pain just to have food to eat. I’ve never gotten rich teaching. In fact, as a single parent of three children, a teacher’s salary left us living in poverty. At that time I was so busy making sure my children had a roof over their heads and food to eat that I just plundered on. I didn’t think I dared stop to pursue a writing career, and I was too exhausted from everything I was doing to write late at night.

I think now that I’d rather starve to death, and it’s no longer my children that I’d have to worry about starving . . . they are grown . . . but I do think I’d rather starve to death than exist in a tired state and with aches and pains like I’m experiencing this morning.

I awoke feeling great yesterday morning. I wrote 1188 words on my book before I went to work. I came home tired, in pain and hungry. I hoped a good night’s sleep would change that. I woke up feeling just as bad this morning.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” I want something different.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s