Read on to see how I coped the week I had head lice, a flat tire and food poisoning all the while being 5 months pregnant…
In my last blog, I listed the qualities of self-directed writers. They were:
- Self-directed writers are independent first, interdependent second
- Self-directed writers are confident
- Self-directed writers are risk takers
- Self-directed writers are engaged
- Self-directed writers are excited
- Self-directed writers are persistent
- Self-directed writers are resilient
- Self-directed writers are resourceful
- Self-directed writers are resourceful
- Self-directed writers self -regulate themselves
Nurturing these qualities in students is essential not only because it helps to improve the quality of their writing, but also because these qualities will come in pretty handy one day when they are adults.
In today’s blog we’re going to look at two of these words: persistence and resilience
To start us off let me define what these words mean
Persistence: Continuing especially in spite of opposition
Resilience: An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
Next, I’m going to share one personal story where I was both resilient and persistent and two classroom stories where amazing teachers nurtured these very same qualities in their students.
First, my story.
It was the first week of school and I was looking forward to long, quiet days of writing. But alas life didn’t go as planned. On Sunday night, my phone rang. It was my brother. He said, “You’re going to kill me. Celia has lice.” Celia is his daughter and my niece and unfortunately I had slept in her bed two nights earlier!
I had taught young kids for fifteen years and had never contracted lice but now at five and half months pregnant it was the moment of truth. I couldn’t use the regular chemical laden hair products so that Monday instead of a long quiet day of writing, I began an hour and a half drive to a place called Lice Fairy Mothers. I had been told that the owners knew how to get rid of the lice without harsh chemicals.
About an hour into the ride, I blew a tire and was stuck on the side of the road for a good hour. Once a police officer came to save me, I questioned him incessantly on how long he thought I could drive on the space tire. I was persistent in my desire to get rid of the lice immediately, but unfortunately he sent me home with a smile and told me to get a new tire first and take care of the lice later. (Poor guy, he thought I was a bit crazy!)
The next morning, once again there was no quiet, reflective writing. Instead I spent the morning getting a new tire for my car and the afternoon getting rid of my lice.
And if things couldn’t get worse would you believe that two days later I went to a barbeque and got food poisoning? Most of the week was spent not on writing, but throwing up and combing lice eggs out of my hair.
I had to admit though that I handled it pretty well. I found a way to be resilient and realize that these bumps are inevitable. I was also persistent and made sure that I got some writing completed in the midst of all the chaos.
Being persistent and resilient was essential to my survival that week.
Now, two teacher stories: Just last week, I saw Marnie Gleissner conduct a lesson where she modeled for her students how to use classroom tools to get spelling help. While modeling, she tried out a few strategies before she got the spelling help that she needed. Watching Marnie I couldn’t help but notice that not only was she teaching kids how to use the tools in the room to get spelling help, but she was also modeling how to be persistent in solving a problem.
Then on that same day, I watched Lorena teach a lesson about what to do when you don’t know what to write about. Throughout the lesson, she was very careful in her word choice saying things in her lesson such as “All writers have days where they don’t know what to write about.” A few of the students yelled out that they already had ideas and she responded by saying, “Well today is your lucky day.” She told me later that she was deliberate in her word choice because she wanted kids to realize that even if they didn’t have this particular problem today they probably would in the future and if/when they did she didn’t want them to be surprised or upset. Yes, Lorena was teaching them what to do when they didn’t have a writing idea, but she was also teaching resilience.
So there you have it…two teachers teaching persistence and resilience and one pregnant lady having to experience it.
I would love to hear from you!
What qualities of self-directedness have you tried to nurture this year?
Have you been successful?
What problems have you run across?
Until next time,