Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moments of Silence

Every morning we pause for a moment of silence because we are mandated to. We honor our individuality through a small gesture that many students don't even understand.  Today was one of those days. The kind of day that makes you rethink why you chose this path, one kid gets stuck, one cries, one boldly lies to you without flinching, but in the end I found myself drifting into my own moments of silence.  Sometimes moments of silence speak volumes.

There are not many people in this world that would tell you that I am a quiet person.  Reserved is not something that typically is the go to character trait that my husband or sisters use when describing me but that is what I became today. Moments of silence became my safety, my individuality, and my escape.  I realized that in a moment I could disappear in a room full of people, ignore comments that I wasn't ready to address in the moment, and preserve my dignity and sanity without a word. Sometimes moments of silence speak volumes.

So I tried it, taking moments to gather my thoughts using silence to gain individuality.   I also watched when my students took moments to themselves throughout the day, and who didn't.  Some of them choose not to, and that wasn't a bad thing it was just very telling.  If you always have an instant opinion does that mean that it is right? Does that somehow make that person more intelligent than someone else? One of my most reserved students was also one that had the most powerful things to say today.  This person didn't need an audience to know that the ideas she shared were important, but when she spoke people listen and noticed.  It's amazing that a 10 year old can teach a truly powerful lesson, Sometimes moments of silence are golden, they prepare the world to hear what is important.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Life in 6 words

I read an article today on Scholastic.com that talked about a teacher who had her students write memoirs in 6 words.  I rarely open these emails. They typically go directly into my trash without a second look but today I was compelled for some reason.  The article talked about how Hemingway once wrote a 6 word sentence that told a much longer and larger story.  "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" It just goes to show you that less is more sometimes.

This got me to thinking, so much is packed into the smallest phrases of our lives. 
I love you.
I hate that.
I can't do this anymore.
I'm sorry we did everything we could.
Congratulations it's a girl.
Please mommy!?
These little phrases can change our worlds in amazing or terrible ways.  Why do we as people give so much power to words and yet use them so carelessly? I hear people claim that they were misunderstood or that they didn't mean what they had said.  If everyone took the time to think and value the words they did say, conversations may look a lot different.  So here is my attempt at a memoir in 6 words.  A word of caution: I am no Hemingway!

My life began with "I do"