I know that 2020 has been a year of discomfort. And that’s not okay, but in reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, I was kindly reminded that some of the greatest opportunities for growing and learning come from uncomfortable situations.
When speaking to her students about vulnerability and shame, Brené warns them ahead of time, “If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and your’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process” (Brown 203).
This warning made me smile because it reminded me of the supply lists for incoming students to my English I class. After typing up and printing the nice, neat lists, I would carefully (in the scariest handwriting I could muster) write “FEAR” in red ink at the top of each list.
You can only imagine the delight I experienced in seeing the eager faces and ready hands grab at the waiting lists from the holder outside my classroom and then the quick flicker of surprise as that word“FEAR” registered in their already-panicking minds.
The beauty of cinema is that it often has the power to put into words what we most need to hear at the toughest times in our lives.
This summer my husband and I took our kiddos to see Incredibles 2. As the film progressed it was clearly a flick for both kids and parents. There were many powerful messages for parents who doubt their “super” status in the realm of child rearing and a number of messages for kids about the importance of always doing what you know is right.
In a scene where Bob (the dad) is at his wit’s end about being a good dad, Edna (the family’s designer) shares a powerful message. One that we need to remind ourselves of often. “Done properly parenting is a heroic act.”
The elements of “properly” and “heroic” give this statement some serious intentergy.
Tears are the last things we need to shed before starting a new school year.
When we begin a new semester, we need to get rid of a lot of stuff before we get rid of tears.
First of all get rid of any bad attitudes. Bad attitudes = bad outcomes
Second, let go of preconceived notions about a certain person or class. What we believe to be true may be based on misunderstanding, falsehood, or a sliver of truth. Give them the benefit of the doubt. The benefit of letting go may result in a terrific learning experience.
Thirdly, each new beginning means an end. You can celebrate the fact that you have passed another milestone in your life and begun a new chapter in your learning career. Not only are you turning over a new leaf when you change your attitude, you are turning a new page in your own personal history book… The Book of How Awesome You Are
Fourth, remove inhibitions and fears. The class or experience that may have you in knots just might be the one thing that holds your year together. You don’t want fear to be the glue that holds your entire year together do you?
Finally, break the mold of the mundane. Don’t embrace the same habits and routine of years previous. Make new friends. Try new practices and sports. Heck, give a new food a chance. Your year can only be successful and rewarding if you work toward something. Make that something a NEW you through bigger and better experiences.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. There may not be any crying in baseball, but sometimes there will be crying in education. Just don’t let those tears fall because of a new beginning.