Positive Collective Memories

May 22, 2022

As another school year ends, now is a great time for educators to celebrate successes.  However, the problem with doing so is that we don’t always see the results of our labor right away.  Oftentimes our efforts are laying a foundation or simply adding to the work of other teachers.  And since our end goal is to develop healthy, well-adjusted, educated kiddos who can transition into adulthood as productive citizens, it is our cumulative work that makes the biggest and most lasting difference.

This past weekend my wife and I traveled to my home state, deep in the heart of South Louisiana to attend a wedding.  The trip had many highlights.  We spent time with friends we’ve known since college, strolled through shops in downtown New Orleans, and due to it being the right time of the year, I got to eat my way through several pounds of crawfish.  Happy day.

I love crawfish.  They were a staple in my diet from my youth through college.  Funny – I don’t remember past individual crawfish boils, and there were many, but my unconscious collective memories of them are very positive.  I think this is what we want to accomplish with our students – working together to establish positive collective memories.

The students you’ve worked with this year might still have academic or behavioral concerns, but if you’ve added positive experiences to their collective memories, I choose to think your efforts will pay off long after they have left your classroom – and that is success worthy of being celebrated.

 

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...

Positive Collective Memories

As we move into the final months of the school year, now is a great time for educators to celebrate successes.  However, the problem with trying to do so is that we don’t always see the results of our labor right away.  Oftentimes our efforts are laying a foundation...