This morning, as I got to school early, and did a quick look through my Facebook feed and came across this gem from a former student:
Three Lessons from the Happiest Girl in the World
For a little background, the young lady writing the blog, Kara, a former student, a Division I athlete for four years, with great ability both in writing and arguing! 🙂 The happiest girl in the world, Marla, another former student, one of the hardest working, most positive, basketball players I’ve ever coached.
Kara talks about how in a recent phone call with Marla, they discussed how Marla was always so upbeat with things. From that conversation, Kara pulled three lessons: Being unhappy with other people should not impact being happy with yourself, there are only two things you can control, and to be happy, you’re going to have to work at it.
This could be one of those little books with cute animal pictures and inspirational quotes around them!
As I read through the blog, and the three lessons learned, a couple of things struck me.
- It’s amazing where our students go after they leave our lives. By my best estimates, I’ve worked with around 400 students in my 20 years of teaching. As technology grows, I stumble over them on Facebook or Twitter, seeing their lives and am in awe of the fact I played this tiny little part in who they are today. Before our school started whole grade sharing, I could see my sixth graders grow into high school seniors. With our high school now off campus, that will become more and more difficult as my own kids graduate.
- Regardless of ability, if you are able to work hard, you can make something of yourself. These two had parents who supported them, had the grades, participated in many things, but without that work ethic that both had, I would be hard pressed to say either would have accomplished what they have today.
Knowing myself, I struggle with #2 the most, being able to control both my actions and attitude. I know that I allow my attitude to get in my way with a lot of things, and that my actions don’t always align with what I’m wanting in life. I know that I’m not good with change and am often frozen in place, not doing something I know I should for fear of failure. But I also know that I do work hard to keep myself and those around me positive, regardless of the situation, and that I try not to allow those around me to create negative energy about myself. My students ask me, “Aren’t you ever in a bad mood?” I know that what I’m doing is working when they do that and it gives me a chance to talk about how attitude is so important!
My lesson plans are changing a bit today. My 6th graders wrote 5 things they are grateful for, writing more about one of them. For my 8th graders, they are going to read the blog, then do something similar. As a whole, we need to show students what successful young adult do to be successful! Kara, Marla, and so many others, they are successful and I’m lucky to have had the chance to call them students.
So, on this #motivationalMonday (a great hashtag) what are you doing to keep your positive energy going?
March 14, 2016 at 10:32 am
What I’m doing today is catching up with my SOL friends, like yourself. Being part of the SOL Challenge is one of my ways of keeping upbeat. So many good writers, so many inspiring ideas like yours.
March 14, 2016 at 10:38 am
I would agree! I’ve been amazed at both the physical writing along with the topics that are written about. I’ve found great topics and inspirations from so many places! Thank you for the kinds words. It is appreciated! 🙂
March 14, 2016 at 10:39 am
Powerful post by Kara and you! I think I’m a lot like Marla, I don’t really ever get mad. I get aggravated but never down and out angry. I really love that she works at being happy, therein lies a huge lesson that many people miss. It is work to develop that attitude. I think your students are in for a thought provoking day. Thanks for making my day with this post.
March 14, 2016 at 11:05 am
Hi Darin, love your post today. It is always fun to see them grow up. Because I work with them when they are little, sometimes I don’t recognize them. I like the variety as well, and haven’t posted anything g professional yet. I see a lot of people do that. Maybe I should try it out…
March 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm
“Knowing myself, I struggle with #2 the most, being able to control both my actions and attitude.” I couldn’t agree more. I often run into former 5th grade students who are working at Target or Staples. They remember that I cared about them enough to play Michael Jackson tunes during rainy day recess. I sometimes cringe that I couldn’t “save them” but you’re right, we can only control our own actions and attitudes. So many variables in raising a strong child with a great attitude! Peace be with you today.
March 14, 2016 at 12:53 pm
Thank you for that thoughtful response. I’ll be interested to see what the reaction to my last group of 8th graders is to this blog. My first two groups were pretty disappointing, but I need to keep telling myself that I cannot force positive attitudes. I can only show the benefits of them! 🙂