As we returned from a visit to our oldest daughter in Ames, we listened to Mary Kay Mueller’s, Taking Care of Me: The Habits of Happiness.
One of the parts talked about what self-talk. First, she talks about our brain as a giant computer which we use about 10% of. Then, “I’m so sick of you two fighting.” She asks the question, “How many of you work with a computer who take a joke?” Of course, no one answers. She then talks about how our brain processes these words as fact, and how if we say we are “sick and tired”, our brain will create “sick and tired” inside of us.
That idea of a physical reaction to the thoughts in our head, that’s a powerful image. How many of our students have we heard call themselves “stupid” or “dumb” or some negative word? How many of them sit in our classrooms with these thoughts running through their head? Even if you don’t buy the idea that our words can have a physical reaction, it’s hard to deny that kids who are depressed, angry, not happy with life tend to see things on the negative side.
So, how does this change? I’m not sure. I’d love to say “be positive”, “think positive”, and “you are positive” will be the end of all this yuck going on. But we all know that’s not going to work. But what can work, keep building your relationships with your students. Keep trying to dig deeper with the students who are a little more tough. Make that effort to give those students a positive, even the act of noticing those students will make an impact.
We’ve got two more CDs to listen to, and I’m hopeful I can keep learning about how I can make myself better for my family and my students! 🙂