Good Morning!! This is my favorite day of the week!! Yes, believe it or not Monday mornings are my favorites, actually the entire day is!!! Isn’t that funny? I wish I could explain, one thing is for sure…it’s my FAVORITE DAY! As I was plugging in to my morning a Teena moment came to me! What if your paradigm or past was obsolete? Suddenly, out of no where…no one knew you and you had no recollection of anyone? What would you do differently?
Let me tell you about a little boy who challenged me everyday, yet said to me one day, “Do you know why I love you Mrs. Drake? Because you always accept me as a new me, the next morning.”
What???!!!! I think he must be talking about another teacher. Because everyday I prayed he would be a new him in the morning. And you can’t imagine how many days I thought, “I love you, but I don’t know if I can make it another day!”
I don’t care who you are, we all have people in our lives like this. Whether it be a student in your classroom or a Co worker, it doesn’t matter who they are it’s who or what you know about them.
After this thought about, your past being erased, I thought of that little boy, who believed in me because he felt like I believed in him! And I did!!!
This thought took me on a fun journey of emotions. Because I now know why that little boy said that!
I had him in 3rd grade and five years later I had him in 8th grade. Before 3rd grade began, I was handed 18 files to read and learn about my students. Their strengths, weaknesses and behavior issues. I read one!!!! (Which coincidentally he transferred out and I never had him). I closed the first folder and quietly walked to the office with all files in arms. I remember the look on our secretaries face (who I adore) when I said, “Can I have a copy of their medical files only? And any IEP’s?”
You know she wanted to say, “Are you stupid? You are holding them.”
However, I think the color still fading from my face and the weakness in my knees, explained it all!”
When I explained how I couldn’t educate effectively if I knew all the other opinions and data from their past. She was speechless. But it never did work with me!!!! My feelings were a great deal can change in one summer. There are so many factors that play into a person/students learning abilities, maturity, behavior ect… Yes this carries on with good or bad signals.
For example: That little boy was a day by day case, EVERYDAY. However, the first three weeks of school, I never knew this child had any trouble at all. He read at a 5th or higher grade level, he was loving, kind and amazing. (And still is to this day).
Then one day he didn’t come to school, then another. When he did return it was like a switch had turned on. His peers were constantly irritated with him, he would poke them, write on their papers…I mean I was in a state of grrrr!
What did I do? Funny thing is I didn’t realize it then, but now I see I did what came natural. I went with what I knew. I had built my own perspective of this child. Therefore, his paradigm to me was an intelligent, sweet, funny and kind child. I knew nothing about his past teachers opinions, his home life or his, let’s call it persistent personality, to ensure his life was as he wanted it. His paradigm was wiped clean as for me. That is why we had the discussion, EVERYDAY, “Tomorrow is a new day! You, my intelligent, well behaved, studious young man will begin again and tomorrow will be even better!”
Yes, we had that same conversation hundreds or maybe even thousands of times from 3rd grade, then 6th through 8th!
Did I change him? Nooo I do know I loved him, as a student. I do believe I helped him see a better him. And if you knew his real life paradigm, you like me, would be tempted to provide him with excuses. However, how would that help him? Or me or anyone else who might struggle with his quirky, nontraditional ways.
Ask yourself, “If my paradigm was wiped clean right now (and I was healthy bla bla bla), what would I want my new one to be?”
It is not to scare you, but just think…if you didn’t worry about the past, if no one had something to hold against you from 30 years ago (yes, people still claim to know someone even if they haven’t spoken to them in 30 years, that’s crazy to me). Not that you live your life based on other people’s opinions, just a fun little thought.
Next time you begin to become irritated with someone or something stop and ensure this is a reaction towards this particular incident and not a reaction based on the past. When you begin to live for or to feel good, life is paradise with a twist.
The twist being those small, quiet irritating moments to remind you of how you want your memories/paradigm, to be in one day, a month, a year or even years.
The pages are unwritten and you my friend are holding the pen!