March 2020 SOLC–Day 5
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
The final echoes of kids’ footsteps and voices were replaced by the hustle and bustle of teachers tidying up and racing around to get to our weekly staff meeting on time. I swung by my colleague’s room to touch base about a student.
Mid-way through our discussion, our math strategist came flying in the room, our contact hour certificates in hand. She handed me mine directly, “I told you I’d have them!” she said triumphantly.
Then she turned to my colleague to ask about reprinting hers, since there were a few errors. Once they got that straightened up, she said, “I’m so bad at this! I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long. And it’s not like I haven’t already printed them. There’s been a stack of them on my desk at my other school since December!” She laughed, “I don’t know why I’m outing myself, but this really is an area of growth for me.”
“Oh, I love that line,” I said, “An area of growth!” My mind swirled, alive with possibilities.
“Sorry my desk is such a mess” sounds so much better with “It’s an area of growth for me.” tacked onto it. I mean, clearly, you are supposed to start doing something about it, not just keep saying it, but it’s amazingly transformative. Actually it’s like magic–transforming a weakness or problem into a goal or aspiration. But how long can you allow yourself to keep using this line before you simply become a bald-faced liar? There must be some sort of expiration date….
Then another thought struck me, “Oh, I can use this on my husband!” (You know, the one who gets a kick out of musing aloud, “It’s so weird! The dish fairy never comes when you’re away!”) Instead of me saying (for the thirteen millionth time), “Can you please wipe the counter when your coffee and sugar spills?” or wiping the spills and sugar grit up semi-aggressively and sometimes resentfully (for the thirteen millionth time) or coming up with a creative solution like placing a spoon rest or folded napkin in the offending area (for the thirteen millionth time), I could simply say, “Oh, clearly cleaning up after your coffee mess is an area of growth for you. Would you like some help with that?”
Hmmm…..actually that sounds a bit aggressive. I might need to reconsider how I phrase it. But still, the possibility is there if I can just figure out how to tap into it. Also, he reads my blog every day, so there’s a chance this new approach might work with minimal effort! (“Hi, Honey!” –envision that with a little wave and a smile.) Or it might totally backfire. Maybe I should just ask him when the counter-wiping fairy is going to visit…