Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Always jump in the puddles!  Always skip alongside the flowers.  The only fights worth fighting are the pillow and food varieties.  -Terri Guillemets

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in.  With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.  -Robert Fulghum

More often than not, this blog is where I can rant, and ranting is usually critical or negative. Now, I consider myself to be a very optimistic person, but think that perhaps my outlook seems dire on the state of education in America, or even my students. I love my job, yet does that come across in my writing? I hope so, but if it doesn't, I'm going to make a more conscious effort to share the positive side of my job.

I'm on the Communications Committee with Reading Corps, and we're doing a lot of recruitment efforts. Part of that is writing articles for college newspapers to spread the word. Naturally, I wrote one for my alma mater. I added the link to the article to our Committee's Google doc., and the next thing I knew, all of my bosses/program coordinators I didn't even know had read it, and loved it. My supervisor must have sent it to my principal, because the next thing I know, I had teachers telling me they really liked the article. I was glad--I initially felt insincere, putting together this op-ed, because I wanted it to be my voice, that even though I was promoting Reading Corps, it was also my experience that I was sharing with Carleton. I wanted it to be worthy both of my amazing Carleton experience, and my experience with my current school.

From this experience, I learned that I don't know how to take praise, or at least am a little uncomfortable with it. I don't know what to say. It was a good ego boost to know that something I wrote could impact so many people who weren't necessarily the intended audience. I suppose it was good that it went out to the staff at my school--I'm not always the most talkative and outgoing at work, so while the article doesn't express anything that would be a surprise to you, dear reader, it's something that a lot of my co-workers don't know. I also never consider writing to be one of my strengths, but a lot of the commenters on my article mentioned my good writing. So much of what I do--as is characteristic of many jobs in which you're serving others--goes uncommented on. It's good to know that something you're doing does actually make a difference in the here and now.

The brightly colored "no sweets" signs at school last year

In related news, today was Valentine's Day, which is just a happy day in an elementary school. Plus, you always have a Valentine (or 20) when you work with kids. It's a good reason to say screw the "no sweets in SPPS public school" rule, and give out cards and candy and love. Really though, had we tried to enforce the "no sweets" rule, it would have been like trying to put out a fire using paper. At any rate, I gave my students Valentines, and got some in return. All my students were in good moods, no one was absent (so rare!), and no one had a bad day. It was one of those days that made me remember why I do what I do. (Lucky for me, I have moments like that everyday...but rarely can I say that about the entire day.)

My third grader, the one who made me cry, was in a very good mood. Today she asked me why there had never been a woman president. She also stated that she wanted to be president one day. Naturally, I turned the conversation to "what do you need to do to become president?" And like the clever student she is, she starts with "confidence," and then added "needs to be a good reader." Bingo!

1 comment:

  1. You are a great ambassador Amy! Glad you got some recognition that you so deserve.