A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Friday, February 7, 2014

Attitude Adjustment, a mantra of the Lord's Prayer

Don't moan the darkness,
Praise the light. Give gratitude.
Every footstep praise.

Last night, Les Brown, one of my heroes, somebody I follow on Facebook, posted an admonition on Facebook to avoid people who are toxic to you, because some people are just bad for you. Given the population of students that I work with, I responded, "What if the toxic person happens to be a 12 or 13 year old student of yours?"

This has been a week of tears for a couple of girls. Diana was in tears after I exclaimed: "You're done, submit the test." after Diana was disrespectful to both me and a teacher who shares my room while she was at Lunch Bunch to finish a district test in math that she had been working on for 4 days -- she did not know the material. She was not alone. Four other students who were trying to finish that test, after 4 days, and another student with whom I was working 1:1 with his portfolio assessment for history, had their opportunity to finish taken away because Diana decided to begin mouthing off to two teachers. Diana, who rarely says anything, but just sits there with a dull expression on her face, began spewing venom. Since the other teacher was in the room, I walked her to the office and found the School Counselor. She started bawling. Poverty crushes souls. As an old truck driver I once knew might have observed, Diana was like a crab in a boiling pot, pulling down any crabs trying to escape the boiling water.

Tasked with the goal of helping every child succeed is challenging my creativity and my ability to suspend my disbelief. As I learn to chunk the elephant down so that I don't continue to overwhelm 12 and 13 years old with force-feeding them entire elephants on a daily basis, I will dig into my magic back of tricks and pull out the 2/10 strategy, find something to praise about a difficult student 2 times a day, for 10 days in a row. We shall see. We shall see. I will pull out a strategy from Tony Robbins: fake it till you make it.

Thank God it's Friday. "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, they Kingdom come, thy Will be done as earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread, our bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not unto temptation, because Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen." Today, this will be my mantra.

When I received the death notice of somebody I did not really like, it brought up a log of negative emotions, and I felt a little guilty. Today is a great day to bury a 35 year old grudge.