- Boundary Markers: An Alternative to Classroom Management - March 10, 2016
- International Mother Language Day-February 21st - February 25, 2016
- "Dear Future Me..."A Great Reflection Assignment for Students - February 1, 2016
- Thank You In Advance: The Power of Expectation - January 15, 2016
- Under the Guise of Inclusion - November 20, 2015
- Therapy Dogs and Schools - October 15, 2015
- SUPERPOWER Schools - October 13, 2015
- When Life Happens While You Teach - September 22, 2015
- "I'm Her Favorite Student!" - August 31, 2015
- Good Writing vs. Great Writing: Leading the Way - April 27, 2015
"I love it when the pretty girl crashes the party." ~Kenny Sailors
I don't claim to know a whole lot about basketball, but I do love the sport. Whether you love it, or not or pay attention to it or not, no one can dispute that March Madness is a real phenomenon. According to experts, when "Cinderella comes to the Ball," it's even more exciting. Appropriately named for the jam-packed, frenzy-filled, bracket-packed craziness, many have come to coin the term "Cinderella" or "Cinderella Story," to explain an exciting time when an unexpected team moves up the bracket to win and win and win. When an unexpected team wins the championship, it's a phenomenon like no other and "Cinderella" has indeed arrived! Perhaps you as a teacher feel like you're in the middle of "March Madness," and are wondering if your Cinderella will arrive? Well, Maybe she already has, but you're too focused on the ball to see her.
"I hate this time of year!" declared my husband. "March Madness?" I asked. "No! I LOVE March Madness! I hate that you have to get your taxes together and winter just won't go away and you're sick of it."
This time of year is tough on teachers too. Many of us are faced with state assessments, burned out students, seniors that are long past ready to graduate, grade school kids that can't play outside at recess on cold days, Spring Break hasn't arrived yet, and we ALL need a break. On top of all that, we may be frustrated with the students that we have done back flips to help, yet still are not where we would like them to be academically or behaviorally. If you are a coach, perhaps you have lost too many games, not gone on to state, or brought the athletes up to the level where they play consistently like you know they could... but like my husband, think of the good part....think of the individual small successes you've had. Find your March Madness. Find your Cinderella.
A Dream is a wish your heart makes...
I'm always surprised at the similarities that my coaching friends face in their lives compared to mine. We often think that all coaches focus on is the mighty win, when many of them have sincere desire to go way beyond that by growing character and strong-minded athletes with a team mentality. All of them want to win, but sometimes they'd much rather grow individuals on the team to be more reliable, consistent leaders of the future than perhaps anything. Like coaches, we as teachers also want to grow strong minded, responsible student and like coaches, we too often face people that second guess our decisions, focus on our losses and criticize the calls we make in the classroom. When it all comes down to it, we all want what's best for our students and each of us do what we feel we need to, to accomplish those goals.
"If Cinderella went back to pick up her shoe, she would've never become a princess."
Somewhere as we approach the end of the 3rd quarter of the school year, we can all look back and find our Cinderella lying in the ashes. Did you have the student that hated school from years of past failures that now likes school? Can you find the new kid that came and had no friends until you encouraged them to reach out? Can you find the student that thought they were "stupid" until you convinced them otherwise? Can you find the team member that with your encouragement came into a leadership position? Can you find the kid that even though they weren't good enough to play, found a place where they fit in...where they needed the team more than the team needed them and it was all because of you? Those my friends, are your Cinderella's and you have brought them to the ball.
Keep Calm and March on.
You don't have to love sports to know that March is a busy, crazy, rollercoaster-of-emotions time of year. Perhaps like many, you've focused on your short-comings and have not celebrated your successes. If you are one of those teachers, may I ask you to remind yourself of your successes. Remind yourself of your accomplishments. They are there, I guarantee it. You may not find out about it for years to come when suddenly a student comes back to thank you for not giving up on them, or for giving them the confidence to grow as a person, but they are there. We all have our Cinderella's hiding in the ashes, perhaps she's lost her shoe and had to run away, but no doubt about it, when she arrives, it's a good thing.