When I think of the “mental set,” I can’t help but think of the first scene of Star Wars: Episode I (yes, if you haven’t noticed, I relish the idea of being able to use any and all Star Wars references possible). In this scene, Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Master Qui-gon Jinn briefly discuss the importance of “keeping your thoughts to the here and now” as Obi-wan argues that “Master Yoda says we should always be mindful of the future” to which Qui-gon responds “yes, but not at the expense of the moment.”
Now, in my reflection of what the module has to say about the mental set, I believe both jedi (who represent the two leading Jedi Order opinions of the Force) were both correct. It is important for a teacher to be in the “here and now” as the book describe “withitness.” A teacher must be . . . there with their students; physically, mentally in the moment with the students in the lesson and responding to them and encouraging their positive participation.
But at the same moment, a teacher must also be mindful of the future, as the book describes forecasting; being able to foresee trouble situations before they happen– investigating a disturbance in the Force.
Now being mindful of every facet of time (past, present and future) for an entire classroom at any given moment (and every given class set of students) can prove to be a daunting task. The book answers that, too. We, as educators should take some “me” time. How I would blow off steam and renew myself, as it were? Well I wouldn’t rightly know. I have never truely taken a real vacation. But I have always found that just doing something senseless for awhile (a few hours or perhaps the principle part of a weekend) has always helped me regain the vigor that is needed to do what must be done. Finish the project, keep going through a hectic week. I also believe that I will do a pretty bang up job keeping a cool exterior and keeping the humor inside the classroom.
I found many reference websites that support the mental set. Like this one.