Sorry that I missed writing last week! (Mom, I know you will have noticed lol.) By last weekend, I finally admitted that I was sick and had to go to the doctor. Today was the first day in a looooong time that I was starting to feel like myself again!
So there were a lot of things that I was thinking about, but in the end, I decided to do some writing of my own. I have used this style of poem in class before, but wasn’t sure how difficult it would be to craft one. (It was!) It isn’t perfect, but it got me thinking about how things aren’t always as they first appear.
Read from top to bottom, then rewritten in reverse.
This meme making the rounds this week: “Just because someone carries it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy.”
I’m getting better at showing vulnerability. With teaching, it’s easy to model, and I make lots of mistakes throughout the day. I try to show my thinking out loud, which probably explains the semi-permanent arched brow and deep creases in my forehead! I should also count how many dozens of times a day that I say, “I don’t know…that’s a great question!” Usually someone quick on the Google will move us down the path toward an answer, or lead us into another question lol.
Like these actual questions from Friday: Do you think that the cover of a book weighs more than its pages? How much of its weight comes from the ink? What is the average age that girls get their period? Why is it different for everyone? Do you think that it depends on when your mom got hers? When there are two mice plugged into the computer how does it know which one to use?
As a bonus, the day before I got to watch a noon hour dramatic production of a boy giving his Old Spice deodorant stick the most realistic CPR, followed by a bloodcurdling “NOOOOO!” and then asking, “Where will we bury him? In my armpit, of course!” I don’t say it enough: god, I love grade 7s.
But for me, actually admitting that things are hard is different. As opposed to saying, “It’s all good. No problem!” but letting people know that something took an exorbitant amount of time and energy? Very difficult. The problem with making something look easy, is that people believe that it’s true.
Like the poem above, not everything is as it seems.
It’s something to remember for our students too. For as many kids that will talk about difficulties they may be having, so many others carry on without letting on at all. The other day in health, we were having table discussions about positive ways to deal with feelings of anxiety. There were two boys that weren’t really very focused, so I pulled the classic teacher move and sat at their table to redirect them back on task. It took less than a minute of me modelling vulnerability, talking about when I feel anxious or stressed out, and how that sometimes shows up in overthinking things, replaying conversations in my head/thinking of things I should have said, or taking something small and snowballing it until it feels overwhelming. Suddenly the two of them were talking about times when they experience anxiety, with one boy even offering up that he had seen a therapist when he was younger, and started listing strategies that he still used. To say I was stunned was an understatement.
It also made me think about Dr. Jody Carrington’s statement that ‘mad is just sad’s bodyguard.’ I think we throw up a lot of emotions as bodyguards to protect us from other people really seeing what we are truly feeling. Adults too.
I get my best reminders through memes. As we ramp up toward Christmas and holidays, and knowing that there is a lot of stress and anxiety for many kids, the picture below is printed and ready to be taped to my computer. Be gentle with each other this week, and have a great one!
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.