Power Washing

Mar 6, 2022

Have I mentioned how much I love spring?  January and February are busy months for work, so I’m excited when March arrives and I can spend time in our yard – which I did yesterday.  And I’m happy to report that after 12 hours of scrubbing and power washing, our hardscapes are clean.

Power washing is a very cathartic activity.  Have you ever tried it?  It’s amazing.  Just point and shoot, and “poof” – all the grime is washed away.  There is something empowering about having all that control in one trigger finger. 

It’s a shame I can’t power wash all the craziness out of my life that easily.  Unfortunately, my hippocampus won’t let me.  It’s an area of the brain that collect memories.  Future behaviors are impacted by past ones.  And depending on our perspective, this can work for or against us.

Educators who are having a relatively good year are likely to head into school each day optimistically looking for positive outcomes.  However, if it has been a challenging year, we might have more of a cloudy outlook expecting, anticipating and inadvertently triggering poor behaviors in our students.

We can’t erase the past, but to the best of our abilities we should try to give our students clean slates at school each day.  Just as I worked to clean the grime and residue off the concrete, so too, do we need to rid ourselves of the negative expectations for our students we’ve built up throughout the year. 

Power washing is a great activity.  And it’s one I really should do more often.  I just need to make certain I’m applying this ritual to more areas of my life than just my patio.

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...