New Song : Errorless

***Disclaimer*** Before I begin, this song is not about any people in particular.  My wife thought it was about her and I told her categorically No! Same goes for any managers or teachers I’ve ever had…it’s just the theoretical and hypothetical obsessions of a thinkaholic!

In my current job working with autistic children we use a method called “Errorless teaching“. This works well for our pupils as it’s a way to keep learning positive.

“Errors are not necessary for learning to occur” – B.F. Skinner

Lyrics:

Hey there
Let me help you out
Just wait there
I know what it’s about

I’ll help you get it right

Errors
Do nothing for your confidence
But with my help
Your work will have significance

I’ll help you get it right

Hold off
Let me gain some life experience
It won’t matter
If I make a few misjudgements

In my own time
I will get it right

Errors
They do nothing for my confidence
Unless I look at all the lessons I have learnt

Let me take it
I can make it alone

I won’t let you down

In this song I have explored what it would look like if we were to take the Errorless approach amongst ourselves.  It’s not straightforward if both parties don’t agree on the philosophy.

An example of this could be if your manager took it upon themselves to help you through something to make sure you did it all completely correct. They do this, not knowing that you feel you can learn it yourself.  For the purpose of this blog we’ll call the manager “teacher” and employee “learner”

In Verses 1 & 2 I speak from the teacher’s perspective, wanting to help, possibly a little too much.

In Verses 3 & 4 I move into the perspective of the learner. They feel they can do it themselves and find it frustrating…though ultimately they probably need more support than they think.

There is a tension between both parties. Both have different perspectives and see making errors in a totally different light.

I believe the point I’m making through this exploration is that teachers need to be sensitive to the best level of support we can give to someone.  Also on the flip side, learners need to be sensitive in knowing and asking for a helpful level of support from more experienced people!  If the teacher and learner can agree on the approach and work together then perhaps they can sing “I won’t let you down” from the same hymn sheet!

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New Song – Change

I have finally got to the point where I can share my newest song!

It is called “Change” and is a reflection on the last 14 weeks of my life, where I have suddenly moved to Wales and started a new job!

2 years ago to this day I wrote a song called “Headspace”.  That song was my journey through taking on the fear of change.  This takes on a similar story but actually taking on new fears within the change.

“Fate, is there such a thing?
Have I just moved here to learn a new lesson?”

This line is probably the most speculative I’ve been in all my music….not exactly vintage Behaviourist but it has crossed my mind whether this move was something that had some kind of lessons for me to be learning that I wouldn’t have elsewhere.

“Can’t hide myself away, must meet it face to face”

The new job has been really difficult at times.  My confidence really dropped and all my energy was sapped.  There have been days where I would go in and cry before the day had even begun.  However, I managed to stay free of taking any ‘mental health days’ during this whole time!  Only succumbing to a stomach bug this week…but my brain won! Yay!

I’m so thankful for all that supported me through these internal struggles! 3 or 4 really good workmates have helped me no end.  Most importantly I must thank my wife putting up with some awful drunken episodes that I’ve had and holding the home together whenever I’ve come home miserable and drained.

“I hate making new mistakes,
I have to get it perfect the first time,
Or I feel frustration building in my mind.”

Perfectionism has plagued me throughout the change to my life.  Being an artiste I have quite a temper when it comes to mistakes.  Of course this is a nightmare when in new situations.  At work, I would put huge pressure on myself so that I wouldn’t be letting down myself and multiple people.  This is not a healthy attitude to have.  Now I have change the mantra, striving to improve but with patience and celebrating progress!

Hope the song has been worth the wait!

 

The challenge of change

About 8 weeks ago I took the plunge and moved to South Wales! I found work at an Independent School for Autism called the Gwenllian Education Centre. 

I spent two weeks in mid-October living with my parents and yo-yoing back and forth to London on the weekends before bringing my wife and baby over during half term holidays.

This has been a massive amount of change. I’m not a fan of change.

I came in to the new job thinking my previous experience would help me settle quickly. It turns out that there were new challenges for me that I hadn’t faced before. My confidence shattered for a little while and I’ve spent the last few weeks building it back up.

The things I’ve had to remember is to accept help when it’s offered. To reach out when it’s too hard. Finally to know I’m making my best efforts and that it takes time to reach the high standards I expect from myself.

These are the things in my mind moving into the next song(s) I wrote over the Christmas season. I expect to have at least one song written over the next two weeks.

Happy Birthday to me, Time to move my family

It’s been a while since my last post.  Been busy with work and with the baby.  In this time I’ve also been planning a future for my family.  With this comes news…

I’m moving my family to South Wales! I have a new job at an ABA Autistic school which begins on Monday.

Hopefully this will mean there’s more time and space to create.  It’s certainly a new adventure!

I’m an Addict

I’ve always thought these three words would make me sound week…

I’m an addict.

Despite the way I’ve perceived such a confession I hope to draw strength from this self-acceptance.

I’ve had issues for many years and was always too afraid to admit it…let alone try to work out the root!  But now that I have…here we go!

The first addiction I remember having was falling in love.  As young as 5 I’d find a girl who I had feelings for and the thought of her would end up becoming my comfort during the stress of life.  I was an anxious young lad and decided this was the best way of having hope.  This addiction continued and carried over into addiction to lust and pornography as a teenager and actually is only recently something I’ve been working on for the sake of a healthier marriage (and now family)!

Handcuffs

I found the addiction was controlling me and I was not the husband I intended being.  I think I was shocked when I realised getting married didn’t magically make my addictions go away.

 

Other addictions I have challenges with are chocolate, tv series, computer games and negative thoughts about myself.

I’m no expert but it seems to me that I’m addicted to addiction and thought writing about this would be not only quite interesting but also a positive way of expressing the situation.

I’ve never gone as far as attending support groups but it is something I am considering should I end up in future struggles.

As far as the song goes I have ended it with a question mark. A “To be continued” if you would like.  I believe this is the point where everyone with addiction would get to before there’s more variation to the journey.  Also, we all love a good cliffhanger!!!

Addiction Addict

I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna last the distance?
I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna make a difference?

I’m addicted to falling in love,
I’m addicted to thinking I’m not good enough.
I’m addicted to pornography,
I’m addicted to thinking I’ll never be free
And I know there is more to this than meets the eye,
But I’m too scared to let the gates open wide

I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna last the distance?
I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna make a difference?

I’m addicted to negative thoughts,
I’m addicted to seeing things worse than I ought.
I’m addicted to anxiety,
I’m addicted to diets that aren’t good for me
And I know there is more to this than meets the eye
And I’m starting to let the gates open wide.

Just why is it I’m addicted?
Oh why is it I’m addicted?
What has got me so afflicted?…