Learning to make adjustments and find the good
By Caitlin Hall, Contributing Writer
After we received the announcement that our schools are closed until August, I was completely broken-hearted. I miss my kids. I wanted to see my seniors graduate, harass them at prom as the super uncool chaperone, and have the opportunity to tell my kids goodbye before summer. I, like many others, didn’t get that chance.
Frustrated, I did the only thing I knew to do to take my mind off this horrible news. I dug up a briar bush in the backyard. Turns out Spirit had a lesson to teach me. What I thought was a no-good briar bush, was a neglected rose bush. What I thought was a crappy situation, was an opportunity to make adjustments and find the good.
Yes, things are super crappy right now. Teachers are worried about their kids. Kids are missing their friends, teachers, and routines. Seniors are missing out on their senior year. But, what if this is an opportunity for us to make adjustments and learn how to be there and nurture each other in our hour of need? What if, like this rose bush, we will ultimately thrive when we adjust our mindsets?
Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Right now it seems like the world is crashing down around us with no end in sight. It is frustrating; it is heartbreaking, and it makes us sad for our kids. When we continue to look at what is happening in the world around us with negative eyes, we become enveloped in the negativity.
I have tried to kill that rose bush for two years. The thorny mess from being neglected for over a decade left no trace of the once beautiful rose bush inside. All I saw was a scourge on my backyard, a plant that made my landscaping plans more difficult. The thorns were sharp, the branches unruly, and it did not fit into my plans.
When plans change, shift your mindset
As teachers, we have some sort of plan for how we are going to pace the year. We have these plans on Google calendars or fancy planners. We plan for disruptions and the need to be flexible, but for the most part, we have a plan. We are in a situation right now where all our hard work and plans need to be reevaluated and adjusted. For some, we are not knowledgeable about e-learning and how to make it work for our students. For most, we are worried about our kids who need our love and support the most.
When I finally dug out my neglected rose bush and realized what blessing I had in front of me the whole time, my mindset changed. I began to look at my landscaping situation with different eyes. I now had an opportunity to learn something new, use my new knowledge to provide care for a neglected plant, and watch that plant flourish and bloom under my care.
Look for the positive
Our students and our jobs as educators are no different than what I learned from my rose bush. When we shift our mindset away from the negative, we see we have a unique opportunity to learn, adjust, and grow. Our mindset shift will have a lasting impact on our students who will then blossom through our adjusted ways to nurture them in their time of need.
I encourage you to stay positive. Use your shifted mindset to learn new ways to connect with your students. Nurture your growth during this time so you are better able to nurture your students. Growth is not always pretty, but if you embrace the change and keep a positive mindset your growth will allow your students to bloom in a period of uncertainty.