Amazing Kids

Amazing Kids

Saturday, March 2, 2013


This week has been one of those weeks that's felt a lot like a roller coaster. As my memories from each day flit in and out of my conscience, the tension in my shoulder blades makes complete sense.

The great part of the roller coaster ride is times such as when the light bulbs in my kids' brains are visibly switched on, as they demonstrate their understanding of division with longs and cubes AND with their own illustrations AND with the traditional division problem worked out on paper. It's another wonderful part of the ride when one student successfully recommends a book to another student who then becomes even more in love with reading. Or at least in like with reading. A student being chosen as the "winner" in a poetry contest, giving her an instant confidence boost is another one of those delightful parts. Seeing her face light up with surprise and amazement made it feel a little like when your stomach does a flip as you go over that unexpected hill at blazing speeds.

Then there are the lows that catch you off guard and make you wonder why you agreed to get on the ride in the first place. The students who make choices that hurt themselves and others; the parents who don't seem to "get it" and hurt their child in the process, yet lay blame on others for all that ails them.

However, I have to admit that I'm a die-hard roller coaster fan. The slow and steady rides just don't appeal to me all that much. I can handle them in very small doses, but truly I'd much rather be on the rides with all the ups and downs they can muster.

Trying to juggle all the hats, all of the surprises, all of the different pieces of life can be more than a little overwhelming. I still feel like a pre-schooler on Twitter (but am SO glad to be engaged in that realm, finding new friends daily), am more than a bit overwhelmed with responsibilities as musical director for an upcoming high school musical, and continually struggle with the feeling that I'm the rope in a game of tug-of-war between school "work" and reading books to stay ahead of my kids. Common Core, of course, is part of the jigsaw of life, too. Oh, yes, and then there's the remodeling we're doing on our house and the teen-aged "issues" our daughter is living out. Just like everyone else in the world, right? Life is, after all, one giant roller coaster ride.

This week, though, gifted me with a strong sense of support from more than one fellow coaster-rider (almost like saying, "You CAN ride this one!") Those positive and specific words have had such a dynamic impact on me. It's easy to forget that we all need encouragement. We work, we do our best, and we work some more. Most of the time for me,  I think about what else I SHOULD be doing. I think about all of the things I'm not doing as well as others. Often I'm just waiting for someone to point out one of those short-comings. But this week some people whose opinion really matters to me have offered up some amazing "high fives." And when others acknowledge positive things we do, it makes all of life look differently. It makes the roller coaster way more fun!

I am so very appreciative of the encouragement and support fellow educators have given to me this week. It has made this week's roller coaster ride better -- way better!

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