Let it flow!
My plane was already delayed and then I was informed that I might not be able to leave until the next day. I was definitely frustrated, but instead of letting my emotions get the best of me, I chose to see this perceived misadventure for what it really was – a great opportunity! Over the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to let potentially negative situations flow past me rather than always being in attack mode or taking a defensive stance in futile situations. In doing this, I have noticed that many of the concerns associated with these potentially negative events have resolved themselves naturally. A great example of my newfound efforts manifested itself this past weekend. As I was waiting to board a plane bound for Boston, I was informed that my flight was delayed and it might not be leaving until the next morning. Contrary to my instinctive reaction, I took a deep breath and smiled at the airline employee behind the counter. I asked what my options were and almost instantly she confirmed I would have a seat on a flight that left first thing in the morning. It was a first class seat, which was not a bad deal, since I only paid two hundred dollars for the ticket. Within minutes, she told me she could also provide me with a three hundred and fifty dollar voucher, dinner, breakfast, and a room at the Hilton. I thought this sounded pretty fair, so I thanked her and walked towards the hotel shuttle. In no time at all, I was asleep in a comfortable bed with more pillows than I could count.
Whether or not we admit it, every educator is part of a system that sometimes forces students into defensive positions. We expect students to achieve certain grades, but often times they are being graded against one another. Inherently, this creates winners and losers. A common reaction among the losers can be a very instinctive one – defending their intelligence. Additionally, we label students said to have learning disabilities, and we expect them to work through these “so called” disabilities, when essentially we have already made them feel like “failures”. So what can we do to avoid these situations? For starters, we should begin to remove student labels and create a learning environment where the students can learn from one another, sharing a sense of positive flow. Sure, this is easier said than done, but we need to start somewhere. I challenge you as a great educator to help one student discover his or her passion and encourage him or her to develop the gifts that he or she has been given. Make your chosen student aware that he or she does not always need to fight in order to win. You know you can make a difference, so do it! Isn’t that why you became an educator in the first place?
Chairperson of the Educator's Experts Group
National Speakers Association