I Can See Clearly Now

Jan 22, 2017

My perspective is my reality, which at times, seems to cause problems. Of course, Im very good at seeing things my way. Ive had 50 years of practice doing so. Unfortunately, I forget the same holds true for others. Differing perspectives, without empathy or understanding, can breed hostility. Unfortunately, my family members, more so than others, have taught me this lesson.
You never listen. This is a favorite phrase of my kids. Micah once told me, When Im talking to you, you arent listening; you are thinking about what you are going to say next. Darn him, being right. I seem to live in my own trench of understanding, trying to drag individuals in. Unfortunately, we all have a tendency to do this, which is why we so often cant find common ground.
I have a few New Years resolutions for 2017, and am doing well on all but one: Start with the perspective of others, without consideration of my own, and then, fold in my understanding on top of that. Old habits of the mind die hard, and trying to move out of my egocentric belief system of I know best seems insurmountable. I need to stop trying to convince others to see things my way. My goal is to venture outside my trench this year, and I hope you will join me. It all starts with a single step.

Beyond Poor Choices

I know I’m stating the obvious, but changing behavior can be difficult.  Want to start off on the right foot when faced with this challenge?  A critical first step in dealing with inappropriate behaviors is determining which are the result of poor...

Generalizing to Extremes

As I lay awake last night staring at the ceiling, it was clear to me that my original idea for this week’s post would have to wait.  Given the incident that occurred at yesterday’s presidential rally, I believe there is a bigger issue to address. I’ve been...

The Concerning Colorful Spectrum of Language

Though actions may speak louder than words, we best not underestimate how language modeling shapes the behavior of the children we are collectively raising.  I guess it’s a hazard of my profession, but I regularly see and hear the world through the eyes and ears of...

Teacher Dads

Dads, today I celebrate you as teachers.  In fact, I believe it is one of your most important roles.  Fathers are always teaching, continually by example, and most of the time without even knowing they are doing so.  In this regard, I have seen some masterful work.  I...

Predictable Routines Needed

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” This quote from Mark Twain seems appropriate given the changes occurring in homes as another school year ends. Parents, we’re lucky. Our kids have had nine months of consistency thanks to the hard work of teachers. We...

One Chapter at a Time

Relieved. Happy. Discouraged.  Exhausted. These were some of the adjectives teachers mentioned when asked how they were feeling about the school year ending.  Although the responses varied, all teachers agreed - they were ready to have some closure with their...

Surrogate Teacher Moms

“Do you have any kids?” I once asked a teacher friend. “Absolutely,” she said. “I have a classroom full of them.” I laughed and walked away, but that thought stuck with me. Let’s face it - some of the best mothers in our lives weren’t our mothers, in the biological...

Get Physical

I’ve done a great deal of yard work over the past few weeks and have been reminded of an important behavior strategy. It’s one I don’t talk about nearly enough, given its effectiveness. Of course, with most people’s busy schedule it’s also hard to come by. The...

Look for the Foundation

Did you know that behaviors have a build-up effect over time?  Most teachers do.  And although there is an ebb and flow pattern to the behaviors of students, we see them all at the tail end of the school year – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Fortunately, we have...

Coming Together

So I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Though the original inspiration hit me in the middle of the eclipse last Monday, it was driven home again yesterday.  (Being a spiritual man, I believe sometimes God circles back around and gives me reminders – to make...