The holidays are filled with time spent with friends and family. Hopefully, as you enter back into the work week, you’re able to carry-over the positive thinking from your time with loved ones (and leave the crazy moments that caused you stress behind)! Since we live in such an acronym crazed society, I did a lot of thinking about “FAMILY” over the last two weeks and the ways that the groups of people we’re most connected to, TRULY embrace what family is all about… looking out for, caring for, and doing what’s in the best interest of others. Sure, some of these groups of people are blood-related family, but there are others that we consider family also… like groups we share hobbies/interests with (CrossFit, book clubs, ski groups, etc.), those in our line of work (don’t your colleagues, students, others in NTN, feel like a family too you?!?!), those we might be connected to through other networks and/or social media outlets (video gamers, financial awareness groups, weight loss groups, etc.) . Aren’t the groups of people you’re most closely connected to considered family for those reasons?! Do they not keep your best interest in mind?! SURE THEY DO!!!
F.A.M.I.LY. = Forget About Me, I Love You!
For those groups you see as family (and your own family, of course), I hope that’s for the reason that they are willing to forget about their own wants/needs to help support and serve you first. Do all families demonstrate this characteristic? No. But I sure wish they would! Let’s think about your classroom for a minute. If you REALLY want your students connecting to one another and to you in a way that generates deep conversations and builds positive relationships, then shouldn’t your classroom culture foster one of putting other’s needs ahead of your own? Forget About Me, I Love You.
This is more than just a culture of being connected to one another on a level of “well, I know everyone’s name,” but a culture of engaging in the work and interests of one another, seeking out interactions together in an effort to learn & solve problems together, taking the idea of a team-teacher or student to manage a complex task… Forget About Me (and what I might want or feel is the right way to do something in the moment), I Love You (and want to build upon your thinking and interests).
As educators, we long for our students to look out for one another. To treat each other with respect, for who we are as people, for our ideas, and for the work we do. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen on its own! Are you modeling what it looks/sounds like to be a genuine family member in your classroom and your school? Do you put others before yourself? How do your colleagues know that (what does it look or sound like to them)? How do your students see/hear you doing that? What area(s) of your life with your school family can you get better at putting their wants/needs first? Forget About Me, I Love You.
Peace, love, and family time!