Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blessing or Burden?

On Monday, I was in a bad mood.  Not just any bad mood -- I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  It was like everything bothered me and nothing seemed right.

I asked my principal to send me home with a bad attitude.  She said "no."

I made it through the day -- and so did everyone else around me -- but I'm sure it wasn't pleasant.  I tried to keep my bad mood to myself, but you know how it is....I just wasn't on my game.

Until I thought of one of my students....

This student has been working really hard to improve at reading.   I mean, working-her-butt-off hard. When school began, she was reading at the second grade level and is now reading practically on grade level (4th grade, 7th month).  She reads everything she can and is always pushing herself to read something more challenging. She asks me if she can take the STAR Reader test almost on a weekly basis to see if her reading level has gone up. Every time she gets a 100% on an AR quiz (which is VERY often), she is practically beaming.  If she doesn't score well, she still picks up another book and gets reading.  Reading has always been difficult for her, but with hard work and a positive attitude, her efforts are paying off.

Sure, it would be easy for this student to get weighed down by the "burden" she faces on a daily basis as she has worked through her reading struggles but she doesn't.  She keeps going.

I asked her what has made the biggest difference in her turning around her reading ability.  She told me that although reading is very difficult for her, she doesn't see it that way.  She sees reading as a gift.  One that not everyone in her family has been given.  She said she just wants to be the best reader she can be!

Talk about a positive attitude!

So this made me think...

When we are faced with adversity (or a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day), do we focus on everything that goes wrong at the sake of looking at what is going right?  Do we dwell on the coffee that dripped on our sweater, the kids who "forgot" to do their homework, the data meetings we have to sit through (again) or the parent who feels that we don't understand their child?

Or do we focus on what is going right?  What our blessings are every day?  How lucky we really are?  How, thanks to those data meetings, we now know how to target our instruction to help our students achieve?

The great Dr. Wayne Dyer said that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  Everything happens for a reason, I believe.  So what is there for me to learn in every situation, even the bad ones?
If you change the way you look at things... #Quote
I know that sometimes this will take some time and distance to realize, but I'm going to try really hard to see more blessings than burdens in my life.

This, I believe, will be the key to happiness and will help me have more terrific, awesome, totally unbelievable, make-me-smile days.

How about you?

Here's wishing you more blessings and less burdens in your life--


  1. What a great reminder. My grandma always had a sign on the mirror in her bathroom that read, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to respond." I love this reminder to choose optimism. Thank you!

  2. Great post, Jennifer. I needed this. I have been negative nancy lately with the pressure of testing around the corner. I want to snap out of it and get back on track with the positive things that are happening. Thank you for writing this! Your student is blessed to have you!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Thank you for posting this - truly need to be reminded of this all the time!

  4. Thank you for this! It's been a struggle lately with all the added pressures at school and of course with testing season among us...that pressure doesn't stop. This is a great reminder of what truly matters and how my attitude effects EVERYTHING!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. Thank you for posting this! It's a great reminder of what's important.

    Swinging for Success
    Follow me on Facebook!

  6. I love your post. This cabin fever funk that I feel that we are in is taking over a bit. Your post reminds me to look at things in a different way. I was just saying how we should think of three things that were good to my family this week... good reminder when things can feel pretty piled up. The sun is shining this morning here in good thing...more snow will melt!

    Renee over at the Science School Yard


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