Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 Lent

I typically do some type of lent… it started in college when someone bet me I couldn’t be off Facebook. I took that challenge, rolled with it, and it’s never been super important since. Since then I’ve done French fries, bread (back in my gluten days), I tried writing a card to someone different each day one time, and failed miserably. I’ve already given up gluten and I refuse to give up coffee or diet coke or caffeine. So, this year I was super content to not do lent. I was totally fine with it. Happy. Super happy.

Until Wednesday, when an idea hit me square in the face. I listened to my students complain alllllll day long. I had conversations with both 6th and 8th graders of why racist comments hurt people’s feelings and are not appropriate. I listened to a conversation of my kids laughing at “how bad they are” in a teacher’s classroom. And I had a situation I had to deal with that put me in a horrible mood for the rest of the day.

When I got home, I began searching youtube. I simply typed in “why positive people are happy.” Then, I began watching videos.

This is when I came to the conclusion that I will be doing lent. I am going to give up being negative and complaining. I am determined to retrain my brain to see the positives in every situation! I will not be stuck in the negatives.

I also already know this from being a middle school teacher, but all of our instructions we tend to swing to the positive. Instead of my rule being “don’t be an idiot”, my rule is “be kind.” When I’m redirecting a student, instead of saying, “No touching other people!!”.. I will ask, “Can I answer a question for you in order to help you be on task?” But, everyone knows teachers need to vent. You are much more likely to hear a teacher complaining, than sharing a success story from the day.

My goal is to share success stories like crazy. Even if it’s something small, I want to be seen as a positive person. I want to share light, not darkness. I want to encourage, not diminish. I want to embrace, not exclude. I want kind to be a word people use to describe me.... and my classroom.... and my students. I want to inspire others to join me in changing the climate of our community, our state, and maybe even our world. 

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