Positively “lucky”

The thing about a typical Monday when you’re a teacher, or at least a teacher at my school, I have to submit lesson plans to my principal. She checks over them and then gives us some quick feedback when she returns them. The feedback is usually a hand scrawled note on the paper copies that are turned in, or a response to the e-mail that I send mine in. I’ve been a teacher for 13 years and a teacher under her for 10. It has taken a great deal of time and effort to rise to her expectations and I can honestly say that at this point, I think I have risen high enough to exceed them.

Despite this tooting of my own horn, I know too, that I’m not perfect. She and I had a difficult relationship in the beginning. And it is because of fear of her blunt nature that I often have anxiety before a faculty meeting or before I am to receive feedback from her because I fear her criticism. Certainly nobody likes to be criticized, but I especially want to please her. When she brings prospective parents around to meet the teachers, she always tells them our names and a little bit about our role at the school. I’m always introduced as the person who edits the yearbook, manages the website, mentors beginning teachers, and the list goes on. It’s made me wonder lately if I am only as good as the things I do around the school. Is my way of pleasing her simply the fact that I am in charge of more things than most teachers at my school? Or does she genuinely think I’m a good teacher? After all, she taught the same subject that I do before she became an administrator, am I as effective of a teacher as she was?

Her feedback to me this morning was reassuring to my mind. In part, her feedback said of the students, “They are lucky to have you”. I read this e-mail before the first period of the day was over and it is a good part of the reason that the rest of my day was good. It was a very validating remark and it made me realize too, just how powerful a positive comment can be. It certainly made my day and yet I have such a hard time giving that same positivity to the people I encounter on a daily basis. Why is it so difficult to smile and engage the few people that just get on my nerves? What makes me want to engage in gossip about these same people?

It’s the 2nd week of Lent and I am determined to make my “sacrifice” about being more positive in my relationship with the people I am challenged by. As our priest said on Ash Wednesday, Lent is about “growing up”. For me, growing up will mean being nicer to everybody, while I’m in their presence and when I’m not. To speak kindly of those not favored by all and let them know that they are valued, just as I felt this morning, the positive effect of knowing that I too, am valued.

4 thoughts on “Positively “lucky”

  1. I love reading your blog when it is delivered to my mailbox. And you might have a hard time believing why.
    I have almost 30 years on you. I have lived my life trying to be the best person I can be.I’ve not always been too successful or proud of my attempt.
    But the reason I look forward to your post is that it solidifies a goal for my week. You have a knack of approaching life in a very pragmatic way. You want to be a better human being, and you are brutally honest in considering what you might need to do to get there. I always see things a little better after reading how you think you can do better.
    You help me want to do better, too.
    Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post. I love all of your posts but the last two have spoken more to me because I am experiencing a recurrence of depressive symptoms, and I am conscious that if I were a better person, it would make me happier. The two posts taken together show me it is possible to be where you don’t want to be but also to see that life will be better again, and that in the meantime, striving to be as kind as possible to oneself and others is a good way of being. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those depression symptoms are so sneaky and come up so unexpectedly. I’m glad that my words could help in some way. It’s hard to be optimistic and positive in the midst of those symptoms. It’s only now that they have subsided that I’m able to have this outlook. I wish you peace.


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