When I get ready for bed at night, I complete the same routine that I have been doing for almost 30 years. I wash my face with Cetaphil Soap® (which has been recommended by my dermatologist by the way), then rinse my face at least 10 times with the coldest tap water possible, and finally dowse my face with Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream®. And that cream goes on LIBERALLY! Lots and lots and lots and lots of cream (take that, you bad boy crow’s feet). 🙂
The other night as I was rubbing in that glob of moisturizer, I thought of how applying certain character traits liberally to the education world might help us be better educators. I thought to myself…
Hmmm, what in education do we need to apply liberally?? Lots and lots and lots of?
Well, the best way to find this out was to send out a text message to my educator friends, right? So I sent this message to my peeps:
“Fill in the blank, please. Just like we apply moisturizer liberally, we must apply ___________ liberally in education.”
Here are the first seven responses I got in the order I received them (thanks to all of you for texting me back right away…especially the male in the group ‘cause I’m positive you lather up every night with moisturizing cream HA! 🙂 ). This list is by no means complete. Please add YOUR educational moisturizers in the comments below. Can’t wait to read them.
Collaboration: This is certainly part of my leadership philosophy. When I was an elementary principal years ago, I actually had a kindergarten teacher tell me he didn’t like my collaborative style. He just wanted me to make all the decisions. All I’ve got to say about that is…WOW. Things that make you go hmm???
Passion: Dave Burgess would agree with this one. Passion is what drives us. If we do not have passion for what we do, it will seem like a chore to do it. I love teaching. My first year as an elementary teacher I made the comment “I can’t believe we get paid for this.” Oh, yes indeed, the negotiating team was a smidgen upset with me that year, but I still have that love today, 29 years later. Yes, I know why we get paid for what we do. I just keep up the passion. Our teacher candidates need to witness it. Our young people need to experience it! Through our passion we remain positive.
Caring: More than one of my educator peeps texted this word back to me. One said a caring attitude and a caring environment. Yes…the teacher candidates in my ED 423 Classroom Management Course have to write out their classroom management philosophy. One criterion they need to address is how to create a positive learning community. Caring is the main word used in their papers. Smile, greet your students at the door, and attend their activities outside of the four walls of your classroom are just a few ways to show you care. “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Unknown
Common Sense: More than one educator friend texted back common sense. Sadly, I believe this is a lost art. Common sense just isn’t so common anymore. I saw one sign on Pinterest that made me giggle in a gloomy kind of way. It said “Common sense is so rare these days, it should be classified as a super power.” Actually, if you go to images.google.com, you will find many quotes there about common sense. Some are humorous, and some just make me blue and shake my head in disbelief. Impress your students with your super powers, teacher candidates. Hone in on your common sense!
Wisdom: When I think of wisdom, I think of life experiences. We certainly get wiser as we get older. I wouldn’t trade this wisdom for my youth (but I sure hope all this moisturizer I use takes care of these wrinkles 😉 )! May I add a little biblical truth here, please? The book of Proverbs states that wisdom is WAY better than gold. Wisdom is a hidden treasure. Through wisdom a house is built. Search for wisdom. And, if we lack wisdom, we are in trouble. Gain wisdom, educators!
Compassion: At my very first job interview, the elementary principal asked me “Can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes?” The answer he was looking for was empathy. For compassion. We have NO IDEA what another person is going through. Students may come to school with baggage we have no clue how to unpack. Colleagues may have issues that are unknown to us. Coaches may have experiences at practices that we are blind to. Have compassion on others! Compassion is kindness, empathy, and forgiveness all wrapped up into one beautiful gift. Educators must radiate compassion!
Optimism: Some days it feels like the educational world is a lion out to devour us. The wind and sun drying out our drive. We may feel defeated. We may throw the white flag of surrender. Standards. Budget constraints. Technology changes. Department of Education expectations. It can be grim trying to keep up. Do NOT let life get you down. Choose to be optimistic. And remember, the best is yet to come.
Slather on these seven educational moisturizers daily, and I’ll guarantee that our educational wrinkles will become a little bit smoother. They won’t disappear, but they won’t be as deep either.
Images.google.com (I couldn’t resist. My grandson LOVES super heroes). 🙂