Friday, March 16, 2018

What a Week!

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is post 16 of 31.

Friends, it has been a week. 

On a typical year at this point of March, teachers across my district would be breathing a sigh of relief. We would have reached that point of spring where children run amok, Daylight Savings and the start of Spring Break. This year, that is not the case. It is after Daylight Savings of course, my body and mind haven't recovered from that horror of last Sunday. However, our Spring Break does not begin until next Friday. I'm not sure why we are a week later this year, I'm guessing it has something to do with Easter and how we typically get the Friday before that, and the Monday after, off as well. Maybe they decided just to push the two together for the savings of a day? Maybe the continuity would be off to return to school, only to leave again? I'm not sure. What I can tell you is that it has been a week.

To say that discipline this week in my middle school has been interesting would be an understatement. To say that behavior has been such that one might raise an eyebrow would also be true. But here's what I've noticed. Kids that are typically fine are a bit of an emotional mess. Adults in my community seem to have lost a bit of perspective. People are believing strongly in their own "rightness" and struggle to even have the desire to even listen for a moment as to another person's truth.

Deep breaths.

I'm not perfect, so far from it in fact. And as my teachers from middle school and high school can attest, I wasn't back then either. I've always tried to be kind, but often fail. I try to see the point of view of others. I try to look at the positive, not the negative. I try not to wallow in gossip and talk about people behind their back. I try to take the high road. It's not easy.

So, in looking back on this week I can easily see the moments that have added to the grey hair on my head and the wrinkles on my brow. But, sitting here at 6:15pm on a Friday with a Fat Tire beer, I'm going to reframe my week. Yes, it has been a week. However it has also been filled with moments I want to remember:

  • Discussions about Jane Goodall and what a "glass ceiling" even is.
  • A group of educators from Japan and China visited and asked my students wonderful questions.
  • A colleague from the high school came and observed in my room and I enjoyed talking to him.
  • My students had fabulous behavior in my class.
  • Reading over writing that took my breath away, these kids have grown so much.
  • Watching a student cheer before he pulled it together when he realized he won a writing contest.
  • Laughing with colleagues over a stupid comment when we were having a stressful conversation.
  • Talking to a boy in last hour today about the first two books in a series as he grabbed the third off the shelf. Three other kids coming up to talk to us about the series because they loved it so.
  • Hugging a student that had struggled to make the right choice, but did.
  • A conversation with a former classmate and friend in the grocery store that reminded me that I'm not alone.
I can choose to focus on everything that went wrong this week, my disappointment in the choices of adults and children alike, but really so much went right. That's what feeds my soul, so I'm choosing to reflect on that instead. I hadn't realized it until now, but it actually was a fabulous week full of joy. I just needed to change my perspective.
Cheers! Happy Friday!