Each day during March, I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC). All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for thirty-one days. My slices will be primarily about teaching preschoolers. Check out the Two Writing Teachers website for lots more reflections on teaching. Thanks especially to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Dana, and Betsy for hosting this writing challenge.
I am thinking about how hard it is to speak in positives,
to note what is going well,
to emphasize what is right and good.
In light of last week's oh so difficult day, we've been on a "gentle and loving" binge in my classroom…I am enthusiastically noting every behavior that I want repeated...
To help us in this renewed quest - to help us get back on the right track - we read the awesome book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.
We had a large glass jar at the ready at the front of our classroom and all morning we added dominoes to this jar, to show the love and caring that was happening. There were so many great deeds! Children inviting others to play, sharing toys, using kind voices, being gentle with their hands, helping to clean up…on and on…yes, the jar was overflowing.
However, sometimes I felt as if it was only me that could see the kindness. All morning, children would come up to me and say "So and so is emptying my bucket…he/she just did blah blah blah"
To which I would say -
"What loving and kind things do you want him/her to do?"
And children would stammer,
"But she, but she, but she...ah, ah, ah…"
They couldn't get themselves out of the negative trap.
How negative are the voices in their lives normally? How negatively do I speak to them normally? It was a real challenge today to turn that around…it is so easy and so instinctive for us to note what is wrong!
Just for today, just for today, just for today…and start again every tomorrow...
You've got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative,
latch on to the affirmative,
but don't mess with mister in-between