attention, being a teacher, choices, power

A Thought on Shutting Doors

When that door shuts, I come alive, not because I am afraid to show my true colors with an open door, or because I am worried what strangers might think, but instead because then I can truly focus on what is the most important; the here, the now, the kids. So when I lose my focus and worry too much about what others think it shows up in my teaching, sneaks right in and settles in the back of my mind. I must forget to take my own advice at times; choose who you give your attention to. Choose who you give power to. Choose who you let lift you up or bring you down. Because those choices also influence your students, those choices we seemingly make separately from our classrooms are never quite separate. We carry it all with us, whether we want to or not. Or at least I do.

So I choose happiness. I choose to focus on everything that is astounding in my life. The incredible deep love from my husband, the unmistakable faith from my mother, and my daughter’s incredible joy for life. The student who finally gets it, or cracks me up with a new joke. The coworker that shares yet another success in their teaching or brings up a new idea. I choose to focus on my own mistakes and weaknesses because those I can do something about. And I choose my own words more carefully so to not bring others down.

So now when I shut that door I also make a conscious effort to make myself open it again. To let the world back in, to show those kids that I am there wholeheartedly no matter what passes by our door. To remind myself that my choices are their choices, and that’s the way it should be.

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