This last week was teacher appreciation week. PTO parents, students and parents pampered us all week long. As I wrote thank you notes to the children who offered their gifts with joy and anticipation of my response, it made me aware of the power, once again of positive expression.
Our wonderful music teacher, who exudes enthusiasm for life and music, has taken to having the children who are seated in lines waiting to be allowed into their classrooms each morning applaud as teachers walk down from the office to the classroom.
I experienced this last week and what I FELT amazed me. It gave me a sense of power to do the work of the day. I felt great. I realized how much our children need to walk through a cheering adoring crowd. Sure they have to learn to behave and do the right things socially. They need to have their inner compass set to moral North, but before any of that can happen they must feel that we are in their corner, cheering for them. They must know that underlying everything we do is not a power struggle for control, but a safety net for them as they fail at tasks.
When I think about how I learn. I am aware I learn more from my mistakes, but that only happens when I now that the person providing the course correction loves me and wants the best for me. I was blessed as a student to have such teachers and later in the world of work I was equally blessed by administrators who exemplified this. When someone criticizes my writing with specific points I can learn from that criticism, but first I have to believe that the person who is criticizing me cares that I ultimately succeed. As they say on Star Trek, “make it so!”