Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Teach Who We Are

I spent much of yesterday on the phone with my sister. She is in a writing class, working on getting a college degree. She is in her 60's and yet wanting to increase her options for jobs! her story was about being young, playing with our brother on our childhood farm. She wrote from her heart, a story that was full of symbolism. She didn't even know it! The fact is that she can't help but remember events that speak of her feelings, her love of that time, her loss of a time gone by and her love for the brother who has died. She didn't intend for the story to be sad but it was! She didn't intend to let people into her innermost feelings but she did! She couldn't help it!

We had a speaker present at our district Back To School Inservice last year, who shared this message, "You Teach Who You Are". His book underscored the simple fact that we can't help but have our values, beliefs, and emotions show in our everyday work. We are who we are! The point was to acknowledge it! If we are passionate about something, we inspire others to be passionate. If we are frustrated, angry, bored, disenchanted, we share that just as openly!

People, young and old, find themselves being very much like the people they are surrounded by. If the majority of the group is upbeat, you are upbeat. If the group is downtrodden, you become downtrodden. Students in our classroom do not have a choice but to model the behaviors we, as the adults, model. We, then, need to be aware of the persona we present to our public!

My sister, unintentionally presented saddness and loss while she thought she was sharing a joyful childhood activity of chasing tumbleweeds. She wrote with detail about pulling petals from beautiful wildflowers not realizing that she was infact sharing a saddness of the years that were being plucked away from her life. She explained that she was sitting in the rain. She was crying! She didn't intend for us to know but there it was!

We teach who we are! We can't help it! Be very aware!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"I love your laugh!"

I heard it again yesterday! "I love your laugh!"

I have heard this many times before and it leaves me wondering every time. Hmmmm, I wonder what my laugh sounds like or what it is about my laugh that makes people comment on it! Once someone said, "I miss hearing your laugh!" when I had moved from one job to another. What is it about my laugh that people "love" and "miss"?

I think the answer is's not my laugh per is the fact that I laugh!

I find humor in life. I find humor in things that other people find stressful. I laugh to reduce stress! I laugh because life is funny! Kids, in particular, are hilarious. They don't know it. They're not trying to be. They just are! And when we can shed the seriousness of life and take on a little bit of that kid like persona, how can you not laugh?

So, I am going to start telling others..."I like your laugh!" Perhaps we can start an epidemic of happiness. Let's all laugh the stress away! Its simple and it feels good.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On to Another School Year

And so, another year is up and running. We spent the summer studying results for previous projects, interviewing for open positions, strategizing how to stay on top of our game.
On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, over 3000 kids entered one of our 6 buildings and didn't care about all of that work. They cared about finding their classroom(s), seeing someone that they knew and making it through the first day!
No one noticed that the floors were polished over and over again to an icy sheen or that the bulletin boards reached out to them with messages of WELCOME! No one could tell that so much time had been spent making sure that the kids were placed in just the right classes with just the right groups or that teachers were hired with just the right characteristics.
No one noticed. Or did they? They left after the first week with smiles on their faces! The hairdresser said "My kids LOVE the Middle School!" The sentiment was echoed in other places as well from unsuspecting parents. The kids are happy to be back to school!
Congratulations! Job well done!