We have this sign in our front room. It is a wonderful reminder to me that so much of my life is really out of my control... but I can still work hard and be nice.
Nice is a valuable commodity in our dog eat dog, 24/7, meme based, snarky world. Hard work is too, but we still see that as a community value. I'm not sure people would say that being nice was a community value.
Two things are causing me to think of 'niceties'. One is a photo and article that was posted on Facebook.
The article is here... go ahead and read it...then come back.
I love that one woman calmly explained and one woman humbly apologized. Like the writer of the article points out, that is not how things work in the intrawebby thingy we are on. Usually its the electronic equivalent of last call on Jersey Shore. Finger waving versus finger pointing.
The other thing came via a tweet yesterday. A friend, Chad, forwarded a great blog post by George Wood, who is a retiring principal from Ohio. Go ahead. Read it and come back.
Welcome back again.
I read this last night and I it made me cry. I want to work for this guy. I remembered all those same moments of kindness by teachers and mentors. A coach who offered 'good hustle, son,' rather than ridicule or comparison to my more athletic brother. A music teacher who saw something me but let me figure it out at my pace. A Greek professor who, in his 80's, who, when he found out that one of the middle school students I mentored had accidentally killed himself playing with a gun, sought me out to make sure I was holding up okay. Mr. Wood is correct, that is what I remember of my time as a student.
That's got me thinking about how kind I am to my students. I hope I challenge them and make they word harder than they think they can. I also hope I'm kind. Growing up is hard enough without the adults in their lives seeing only the negative in them. I wonder how well I get across to them that I love what I do not in spite of them but because of them? It is difficult work, to be sure. But it is pure joy to watch them as they navigate into maturity. Part of the joy is in the rolling up of the sleeves and being a part of that.
Maybe I need to move that sign to my classroom. Or, better yet, two signs!