May Marble

Write injuries in the sand, kindnesses in marble.” – French Proverb

It has been astounding the responses and emails from the post, He Who Laughs – Lasts .  To me, it just confirms that as teachers, in May, we are hungry for encouragement and to know that we shall successfully conclude another year.

You see, for those who aren't teachers, every year ends with mixed emotions.  Mixed because no teacher truly wants to not be teaching and yet, we're so unbelievably tired at the end of the year that we sometimes feel sort of guilty that we NEED and want a break from it all.

I was one of those misinformed, incorrect people when in the business world.  It is humiliating and embarrassing for Mom to remind me some of the things I said to her when she was a teacher – in fact, I'm afraid to admit the things I said because they are so abhorrent to me now.

There is nothing easy about teaching.  Although the teachers and I at Westwood are so excited about our immersion project, the Flint River Project, which starts tomorrow – it seems overwhelming.  (Camilla  has had a run on Deep Woods Off, btw, if you need some, go about 2 states over – the shelves are cleared for miles!)

So, I could blog about how my amazing principal posted his first blog post last week, or the exciting film work that we're doing with the project.  And how he reminded the students to remember to bring their cell phones next week to school and keep them charged so they could take pictures and send them to the Ning.  I could talk about the cool senior movie we just finished up with Pinnacle 2..  There are so many technology things to share and you get a lot of those through my daily bookmark feed from Diigo.

But right now, it is just plain ‘ole unadulterated survival.  If you could see my brain, it would have camo paint smeared between the crevices and be hunkering down trying to blend in with my desk – hoping not to attract too much attention or make anyone mad for the last few days of school.

This too shall pass, but as I was reading one of my favorite books Everyday Greatness: Inspiration for a Meaningful Life
, the French proverb above resonated with me.  Let me say it again:

“Write injuries in the sand, kindnesses in marble.” – French Proverb

Last week, our school recognized Mrs. Betty Sue Watson for 20 years of service in our Learning Lab.  Mrs. Betty Sue was one of the ladies who unlocked the potential of my own sister in our learning lab and has earned the love and favor of everyone here — but we've never told her publicly.  She works tirelessly and quietly, but we've never recognized her or said thank you.  Last week, she was called to the auditorium for an assembly and was met with thunderous applause – she almost left! 

She said she had never been so scared in her life!!  It was a well deserved kindness and I hope she writes it in marble on her heart so she can remember! 

I save every kind note I ever get from a parent or student – even if it is affixed to a gift and have a folder for it!  You see, these kindnesses have to be written in marble because teaching can be lonely and it can be thankless and sometimes for the sake of hope itself, tracing the marble etchings of kindness cools the turmoil of my heart.

We don't do it for the thank you, but when it comes, it is a treasure.

The “Problem”
So often parents are focused in and honed in on that one teacher –the “problem teacher” as they say and teachers are so honed in on that one student — the “problem student” as teachers say — that both forget all of the other great teachers and other great students out there in the classrooms.

Isn't it time to thank those who are great? 
To be kind to those who deserve to have such good things written upon their hearts?

So, I'm asking and encouraging you, whether you are a teacher, a student, a parent, an administrator – take some time this week to carve a little kindness into the heart of an educator, student, or parent who needs it.  Instead of talking about May Madness and how upset and crabby we all are – how about make this a time to make some May Marble.

If we all decide to take time to thank those who deserve it and be kind to those who work tirelessly with little thank you (can you say lunchroom workers and janitors) — then how much more pleasant will May be? 

Let's all work hard to carve a little May marble this week by being kind and thanking those who work tirelessly!

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Photo:  Creative Commons – Happiness at Bordon Hill – by Camera Shy Gal

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Marble Floor Repair PalmBeach November 30, 2010 - 1:14 pm

If you could see my brain, it would have camo paint smeared between the crevices

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