How To Get Into The ‘Flow’ In Your Classroom

The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. – Robert Burns

How many times have you planned out a lesson, been excited about how awesome it would be, and had it go totally awry? We’ve all been there. While it is a pain when it happens – especially since the planned out lesson should have been so great – it can also offer opportunity to really teach to the students’ needs and explore things that pique their interest. In order to capitalize on the situation and make those things happen in this type of scenario, you need to be able to let go of the plan you had laid out, don’t force it, and go with the flow.

So just how do you learn to get into the flow in your classroom? The ever-lovely Mia MacMeekin made this handy graphic after watching a TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and reading his book. I haven’t read the book, but the TED talk is really inspiring. It is not specifically geared towards teaching or education, but talks about how to find fulfillment and happiness through immersion in activities – which he calls ‘flow’. If you’re interested in a bit of his backstory, you can read a bit about him here. Mia has extrapolated the ideas of his TED talk and applied them to the classroom.

How To Get Into The ‘Flow’ In Your Classroom

  • Find freedom from societal reward
  • Seek optimal experiences
  • Combine differentiation and integration
  • Seek enjoyment
  • Have an autotelic experience
  • Design flow activities

What Do We Need To Enjoy Something?

  • Need a task we have a chance of completing
  • Ability to concentrate on what we are doing
  • The task has clear goals
  • There is immediate feedback
  • One acts with deep but effortless involvement that removes everyday worries
  • One has a sense of control
  • The concern of self disappears with flow
  • A sense of duration of time disappears