When a child has the best day ever, when he or she sparkles and cooperates and is happy to do so..... that's the setting for a night of deep thinking, just as if it was the day from hell. What was different about the day? What did I do differently? What about home was different?
HOW CAN WE REPLICATE THIS DAY?
Because, I really want to replicate this day.
Was I more patient than usual? What I better at reinforcing the good things he was doing? Was I better at ignoring the little stuff? What about the accommodations and modifications on today's work made it more palatable? Did I smile more? Did I smile less?
And what if it's a medication issue? I have zero control over that. Or maybe the child got through breakfast at home without getting smacked around. Or the bully on the bus was absent.
What if...what if....what if....
We teachers often beat ourselves up trying to figure out how to best help our students. I know that sometimes I do, even though I'm very aware of how idiotic it is to lose sleep over these kinds of things. It's probably a by-product of our strong desire to do what's right for kids.
But I pledge today to shift my worrying and wondering to a more productive path. I will not obsess, just consider. I will not put myself down when things go wrong, but use my expertise, experience, and commitment to kids to strategically plan for doing things better the next time. I will not lose sleep, but pray for wisdom and patience, and leave it at that.