Skip to main content

The Edge

I subscribe to a word of the day prompt for writing. Yesterday, I wrote Footsteps in response to one of these daily prompts. Because I've spent the last ten minutes staring at a blank computer screen, I decided to try another one for today's SOL. And, although I'm not necessarily a big fan of writing prompts I obviously need help again to get me writing. Today's prompt is "edge". My first response today, unlike yesterday wasn't, "Woah! What am I going to write about that?" Instead, I immediately thought of several ways I could respond to this prompt to suit my needs and my mood at the moment. So, here it goes. 

This week has been difficult. It was our spring break vacation and we had some plans. We needed to tick off a few important items from our family to do list, like taking the car to the mechanic and paying the required annual registration fee. We went to the wrong place after a long time driving and now we have to pay the $50 fine for registering our car late. I felt on edge because at that point we'd been driving for about two hours as we'd done a couple of other errands before that. (By the time we got home, I would have been driving almost 4 hours total and I was exhausted. Driving in Quito requires heavy concentration and patience; I was running low on both of these by the end of the day.)
I tried to talk myself out of a rant since it was my husband that had bundled the appointment, not once but twice, and I knew he felt pretty bad about his mistake. I succeeded in bringing myself back over the edge.

On Tuesday we were going to drive to one of our favorite cities here, Baños, for the night, but my son got sick in the middle of the night. We thought we could still make the trip later in the morning, but by 11:00 it was clear that wasn't a good idea. So, we stayed home instead.

On Wednesday, one of my brothers-in-law and his youngest son came from Guayaquil (the biggest port city here) to go to the soccer stadium to watch the Ecuador-Paraguay qualifiers on Thursday. We tied 2 - 2, but we almost lost. The team took us over the edge several times and people started to lose hope. However, groups of fans chanted encouragement to the national team and I do believe that is why they were able to tie the game at the very last minute.

On Friday, we went out for breakfast and then took a drive near our house. We were all a little bit shell shot from the outcome of the game: we really needed a win! In the afternoon, my brother-in-law and nephew flew back home and we went back to our routine.

Yesterday, we had a good friend and her family come over for a late lunch. That was definitely a highlight of our week. Their boys and our son had a blast and the four of us laughed so much that it made up for a not-so-good earlier part of the week.

Interesting how we focus on the negatives. If I wrote this post again, I would focus on the chores we were able to accomplish, rather than the ones that still need to be done. I would celebrate my brother-in-law's visit and the tie that our national team was able to pull off. I would focus more on the lovely lunch we had with our neighbors. I would deal with my hoarse voice and frustration about the end of the vacation and a to-do list that seems to have grown rather than diminished.

A look over the edge is one thing. Focusing on that exclusively negates all the positive that can lift us up and that we can celebrate.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life, Day #27.
Edge
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Students Plan for a Day of Learning

This is the third in a series of blog posts about strategies I use to help my students take ownership of their learning. The first post was about class meetings. The second post was about giving kids opportunities todetermine their own writing and reading plansevery Friday afternoon. (Coming soon is the fourth post in this series about using student surveys to provide feedback about the classroom.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Yesterday I felt more independent than ever because I had to tell myself what to do." - 5th grade boy
It did not come as a surprise that my students embraced the idea of planning their learning for an entire day. That is what being autonomous and self-directed is all about and what we all desire to be in our day-to-day experiences. Allowing students to create their own schedules for learning, albeit conditioned by specific parameters (reading, writing, math, sc…

The Teacher I Want to Be

The
I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
Teacher
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Searching for Balance

I have been doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of days. 
And, I've come to the conclusion that I must change my attitude - shift my stance - so I can assume a new perspective. So that I am more aligned with what's important and may add value to my life.  
Focusing on the negative is not making me stronger or healthier. In fact, I am often stressed because I worry a lot about unimportant things. I obsess over situations out of my control. I dismiss positive experiences that would help lift my spirits and align my focus towards what's important. 
I need a distraction from my own thoughts.
I need balance in my life. Not because I work hard to prepare my classes. Not because I read a lot of professional literature. Not because I wrote a lot this summer and will continue to do so now that school has started. But because I have been obsessing on the wrong things. Mostly, I obsess about what someone said or did and what it says about me as a teacher. I obsess about …