The Me I Aspire to Be

Jan 20, 2019

Every have “one of those days” that felt like “one of those weeks”?  Although several days have passed, I still have a sick feeling in my stomach.  Challenging student, colleague, and parent situations added up to a horrific nine-hour period.  I’m not nearly as frustrated with others as I am with myself.  Somehow, my verbal filter either wasn’t working well, or I simply left it at home.  I made many comments throughout the day that were negative or judgmental, and I’m sure my contributions only added fertilizer to the field.  I’ve been scratching my head ever since thinking, “How exactly did that happen?”  That person I became was not me, or at least not the me I aspire to be.

I believe the problem was that I took my cues from others rather than looking inward, letting my own behavioral compass be my guide.  The negative black cloud of climate enveloped me and I lost my way.  How sad, since I teach children to resist peer pressure and use their own brains to make their own choices.  If nothing else, this day served as great reminder that it is often difficult to make good choices at the time we need to do so.

So on I trod, learning from my mistakes and trying better to practice what I preach.  I’ll have a bit more empathy and understanding for my students.  I’ll also work to use my own internal ethical compass to ground me rather than letting the negative emotional climate of others cloud my judgement, affect or behaviors.  Thankfully, tomorrow’s a new day.

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...