Our Words Matter – A Personal Example

I am sorting through my Gmail account trying to get back to an empty inbox and organized online and real world life. As I was sorting through all these links, emails to myself(I send myself emails all the time), and just general decluttering I was reminded of a very special and cool moment for me.

Vicki Davis a.k.a. Cool Cat Teacher who is an education extrodainer and someone who has really helped me find my passion for flattening classrooms and making global connections bookmarked one of my projects via her Diigo account. I know not a big deal as many people do this, but her words mean so much

Here is the link to her blog and this page – http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2013/01/daily-education-and-technology-news-for_22.html

If you don’t follow Vicki, then you have missed out on some integral thoughts, visions, and ideas that can really help  you as a teacher.

A few days before this she had posted a really insight blog post – http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2013/01/3-characteristics-of-people-builder.html

I left a comment in regards to her post because I felt that I needed to. Her words spoke to me. What stood out was her taking time to respond and I cannot tell how good her words felt to me.

I am not sharing this to toot my own horn. I am showcasing this to get to an even more important idea.

OUR WORDS MATTER!

It might be that one sideline comment that students overhears or that one little phrase that we don’t think twice about that can make all the difference – good or bad. Her words helped me. They still help me and still hold a place in my mind(obviously here I am writing about it a month later). It is a reminder about how we phrase our words and statements to students, family, friends. Are we really delivering the true message that we want to get across?

Sometimes we need these little positive urges to continue our journey. There are times where I question why I am up late working and up early prepping for the day. I question if it is all worth it when I sit and converse with educators and other professionals around the world to find something to make me better in my classroom. I connect and hear positive things and I am reminded that it is worth it. I always go back to my own kids and what would I want? I would want that teacher always striving to be their best and expecting the same for their students and my own children. I want my kids to come home and tell me that their teacher(s) have a burning passion for what they do. I want to provide this same feeling as an educator.

This weekend I will return the favor of positive words. I am going to handwrite a few positive notes to people and send out. I need to remember how important these words from Vicki were to me and return the favor. Maybe, just maybe, that is all that person needs to keep the journey alive with whatever their passions might be.

And maybe sharing this will spawn others to do the same.

Have a good weekend.

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6th Grade Language Arts Postcard Project About Risk Taking and Success

Above is the postcard I made for my class I am currently teaching. I am working with some 6th grade language arts students for about 5 weeks. The theme of my unit is “What Makes People Take Risks?” We are examining the traits needed to take risks and how that allows us to be successful in life.

We just started our unit and the first project was to create a postcard that contained a quote along with imagery to support the quote. The quote had to pertain to both risk taking and being successful in life. I will share the artwork of my students soon, but I wanted to share mine.

The other requirement was to write two paragraphs justifying the work done.

Here it goes

The quote I chose was “You’re better than you think you are…..you can do more than you think you can.” – Rick Fountain

Rick Fountain embodies this quote perfectly. Rick and John Byrne both just completed a 100 mile race in the mountains to claim a monster achievement in running Leadville. This quote hits both aspects of risk taking and success. Prior to this training, Rick mentioned in an email that his longest run ever was 11 miles. These two guys are leading examples of risking taking. It is a huge risk to commit to a rigorous training schedule to be able to run 100 miles and in the mountains at that. The time dedicated to being on your feet and sacrificing time away from family, friends, social events, etc. is tough. To top it off it is a long journey.

However, the risk is worth the reward. Success has probably never been sweeter for these two guys. They lead by example. They touched the lives of many of us as we joined them for training runs, read their blogs and emails, and just took note of what they were doing. I know personally I spent time listening carefully and studying what they had to say. They will claim to not being experts, but their experience through it all makes them close. Success was achieved by their dedication to their goal. An amazing journey where they had to dig down to places in their soul, heart, and mind to keep going. Places many of us will never come close to reaching. They are perfect examples of setting about a goal for success and knowing the only way to get there is the risk of training and running. AWESOME!

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