Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flying Away On a Wing and a Prayer

There’s been sort of a cloud of doom hanging over us at school recently. No one's light seems to be shining, and frankly it’s getting a little old.

Yesterday, I decided to do my part to lift the fog by overhauling my attitude. I'm going to adopt the Traits of an Idealistic Leader one at a time. The first one is “Strive to Be Delightful," so that's my focus for the week.

I first told Rachel about the plan. She was kind of supportive, but her skepticism was slightly more dominant. “I can’t wait to see how long it takes you to crack,” she said, as I smiled unrelentingly and tried to keep the hilarious jokes coming at steady intervals. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a kid or a parent," she continued, "but it’s going to be something.”

Even though she wasn't convinced of the viability of the strategy, I couldn’t help but notice that she laughed a lot during our conversation. And she also used fewer than five swear-words in five minutes, which is sort of a miracle.

Later, I tried to recruit my students to strive to be delightful this week right along with me. I thought it might be easier if we were all on the same page. They also laughed at me, but that’s okay. At least we weren’t scowling at each other.

We didn’t take time at first to discuss the kind of behaviors that could be considered delightful, which was maybe my mistake. Today we were able to identify some behaviors that are really not.

“Ok, see?” I said patiently to Dylan, a usual suspect. “Making animal noises while I’m trying to talk to the class about introductions and conclusions is not delightful.”

“Those weren’t animal noises,” Dylan said, defensively.

Even so, he more or less stopped meowing. For at least sixty seconds.


Undomestic said...

You made me smile.

Rachel said...

Let's be real...me using fewer than five swear words in five minutes at school IS a miracle. A serious scale miracle. Assumption of Mary, Immaculate Conception, water into wine type miracle.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I did feel a little more filled with delight today than usual. At first I attributed it to our new bulletin board strips, but maybe it's your influence. I am, however, already imagining all the delight pouring out of me tomorrow when I walk into the building to find that our cool new strips have all fallen off our ugly brick walls in the night. Maybe they'll kill some mice on their way down??

Rachel said...

Also, this post made me laugh out loud so hard that Jim had to ask what was so funny. Just FYI.

Jackie said...

The bulletin board strips are all still up with contraband Thinking Maps proudly displayed. However, the school has fallen down around them. I just can't be delightful today.