Friday, March 14, 2008

Lessons in Life

I hope I never stop learning. I love learning, and maybe that's why I'm a teacher. But some lessons in life are so hard to learn. Warning: MANY RAMBLING THOUGHTS AHEAD!

Within minutes of each other this morning, I was writing to a student and talking to the new teacher I'm mentoring about this very issue of life lessons. There was a passage in the classroom management book that we're reading as part of mentoring that directly pertained to what's been on my mind lately. "...the single defining characteristic of greatness in this world - one's willingness to stand up and hold one's ground with the noise in one's head, and the people in one's world, while assuming the best, in ways that invite cooperation."

Wow. That really says a lot. I guess that's what I'm working for... to be able to be myself and stand up for myself, while blocking out the crap and getting the best out of others by assuming the best about others.

That passage also talks about greatness. Greatness is a term I struggle with. I aspire to be great... a great teacher, a great performer, a great friend. I think I'm more of an all-around "good" person, not really "great" at any one thing, but good at lots of things. A persistent wondering in my brain questions if a person has to give up being good at lots of things to be great at one thing.

I guess one thing the passage leaves out is about growing. I struggle with perfectionism and wanting to be the best at things. All I can really do be the best I can be and not worry with others. I know I need to model that for my students, but it's hard when I'm a competitive person. I'm grateful that I'm aware of this in myself, but it's hard to take the next step... to be able to see greatness and appreciate greatness in others without being jealous and while continually striving for greatness in myself, growing and changing, and loving the process of getting there.

I warned you about the rambling thoughts, didn't I? Feels good to release them though. TGIF!

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