Monday, September 30, 2013

Slice of Life - Rose-Colored Glasses

I was talking to a friend the other day and she asked me how my year was going so far. I replied that – like always in September – I was exhausted, but I loved my class. She laughed and said that I always love my class – did I really just get a great class each year?

That made me think. It is true, I always love my class. Many classes are challenging, and as a whole some might exhaust me, but when I think of individual kids, I can’t help but smile. Every kid I have taught – every one – has taught me something during our year together. Who can’t love that?

This was also on my mind as I then scanned Facebook. (Still on more than I should, but much less since my resolutions of last week.) Facebook makes me sad more often than it should. Whether it is looking at people bashing folks in charge of our town for one thing or another, to people complaining about where the new library will be built, it’s ugly. I don’t understand negativity. I don’t understand always looking for what people are doing wrong instead of what they are doing right.

I turned away from Facebook and shook my head. I am not naïve. I realize the people in government might not always make the right decisions. And I guess if people want to spend the little time they have on earth focusing on that, putting their time into pointing out others mistakes, that’s their choice. That will not be the way I will spend my time.

Last week our community lost another young person to cancer. Kyle was only thirty-one. He had many years ahead of him with his wife and two young children. I didn’t know Kyle well, I’ve only had the chance to meet him in passing. What I remember about him is his smile. He seemed happy and full of life.
Photo Credit - Jill Lubbers. You can see Kyle's impact.
Farmers lined their tractors up for the trip to the cemetery. 

Kyle was on my mind all weekend. I often think about things like how you are remembered. Will I be remembered as someone who brought joy to people’s lives or one who brought others down? I don’t want to focus on the negativity in this world, there is already enough of that to go around. I’m of the opinion that we get to choose where to put our energy. So that is what I’m going to continue to do.

I use this blog to talk about education, books, and my reflections on the classroom. I occasionally might throw out something in education that is making me crazy (hello CCSS.) And here’s the thing – there’s a lot in education that is making me a bit crazy, just as there are a lot of folks in my town who’s overall view of spewing vitriol on Facebook make me feel insane. I can choose to focus on that, or I can choose to make a small difference in my own way. That’s my choice and that is where I choose to put my energy. I will work to be a positive force, not a negative one. I have no expectations that my words will impact many, but I know my view of life will impact eighty children this year. That matters to me, so pass over those rose-colored glasses. I think they look awesome.   

Side note - Happy Birthday to Chris, my amazing husband who I'm always trying to get to wear some rose-colored glasses of his own. :) 

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Two Writing Teachers