Tribe Tuesday: Your Youness is a Miracle


kathleen johnson

I was thinking this morning as I was blow drying my hair about something I was annoyed about. As I was fluffing my hair and applying hair product, I had a moment where I reminded myself that what I was thinking was completely my choice. I turned the annoying thing into a good thing, and then, poof it vanished. And I was so annoyed, I tell you, it was thick upon my psyche.

You couldn’t get me to remember what it was if you had the tastiest of treats to bribe me with. I really have no idea what it was anymore.

That’s my point. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in some minutiae of the moment that we forget that it is just right now. We do not have to go down with the ship over every.single.emotion.

Then I went on a thinking spree.

What if we could just choose to turn things that we think are horrible into good things instead? We could do this…and as a teacher, this is part of what we do all the time. Parents and caregivers do it, too. For example:

Toddler falls over. Adults can choose to a.) freak out and go, “oh NO!” and make child cry more, or b.) are you okay? You’re okay! You’re tough, here let me dust you off.

As adults, we have to dust ourselves off all day. And we do. We just keep getting up and crushing it.

Thank you, my friend. Thank you for noticing your foibles and challenges and your strengths and the things you might want to improve. You can do whatever you set your heart and mind to, I promise.

A kiddo in my class was really sad today when I was handing out fuzzies. She had this look on her face of disappointment/pain/sad. I said, “hey, what’s up? You okay?”

She fell into me, and I just held on to her for a few minutes. After giving out all the other fuzzies, I talked with her. She was worried she wasn’t going to get fuzzies, because earlier in the day…she’d super messed up. SO. She was nervous. I told her a little story called Ms. Fogerty messes up all day every day of her life. It seemed to make her feel a little better. And I was also honest that that mistake she’d made was only one blip of the day–it didn’t define her day.

It also reminded me that Ms. Fogerty has got to pay more attention to giving out MUCH MORE positive feedback tomorrow to her friends. They are getting down on themselves. And when it is past Halloween and creeping up on Thanksgiving and Christmas…the energy in the classroom changes. They can feel the stress at home from the adults, and they exhibit the effects of that at school by not knowing how to manage their energy.

I get it sweet friends. I love you. And tomorrow we will calmly roll into Thanksgiving weekend. Because I am not going to assume it is going to be crazy tomorrow. Instead of continuing to say those words to myself and in my head,  I’m going to say these words to myself from now until I blow dry my hair tomorrow morning.

I have a picture in my mind of my class. They are excited about the holiday. They are thinking about family time, adventures, travel, maybe shopping and putting up trees. They are thinking about all the plans their family has been making, talking about, preparing for, and they are overwhelmed with excitement and energy.

They want me to guide them. They look to the adults to set the pace for the day. I will welcome their excited energy. I will smile at them and allow them to be a little louder, because they need to get rid of the excited energy SOMEHOW. I will let them be 5 without worrying about the gradebook. I will engage them in meaningful content that challenges their intelligence and tics off some requirements, but mostly I will show up as a guide and be a coach for them…because this is what they will need tomorrow.

They need to see adults that will show them that being excited is wonderful, and that holidays don’t have to feel stressful, and that being with the people we love is a blessing.

Love to you.

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