Monthly Archives: November 2015

Be grateful 

So it’s thanksgiving. A day of family and friends. A day of food and drinks. A day we take a moment and look at our lives. 

It’s easy to forget all of the things that we should be grateful of and its a little sad that we only take the time to remember them on a day that a white man had invaded Native American homes for the sake of power. 

Regardless, I am thankful for a lot in my life. 

  
I’m thankful for the opportunities that I have been given because my parents left their home and moved to America. I’m thankful for my parents who hard hard on the daily to give my brother an I a better life. I’m thankful for my family that loves hard and yells louder. I’m thankful for my friends who listen to my dramas and are always willing to go out to eat or grab a drink. I’m thankful for the children that I work with who teach me to be a better person everyday. I’m thankful for the children who show me the silver lining when the skies seem gray. I’m thankful for my house that truely feels like a home. I’m thankful for the people who feel like home to me. 

I’m thankful. 

I’m grateful.

I’m lucky. 

What are you thankful for today? 

Emotions are valid

As grownups we often expect children to rationalize and reason instead of have emotions. In a general way of speaking, we expect them to think like a fully developmentally grownup. 

When something happens, we tell them it’s not a big deal and they shouldn’t get upset. We tell them that they shouldn’t feel a certain way in specific situations. We teach kids that what they are feeling is not ok. 

When I was growing up, this happened to me. I was a pretty sensitive child and so I would have a lot of emotions and would often cry as an expression of them. 

When I grew up, I found it is hard for me to express how I feel in a certain moment. I have to analyze it and think about it instead of just feel. I am still being told that my feelings are wrong and that I shouldn’t feel the way I do. I am still told that whatever the situation may be is irrelevant or not important enough to get upset. 

So here’s my take on it: 

I am upset. That’s just a fact. Something happened and I feel a certain way. I shouldn’t have to explain my feelings. I shouldn’t have to feel bad for having these emotions. I feel something and sure I know it’s not as bad as people without a home or people who have much less than me. I’m not trying to say that it is as bad or worse than that. But to me, in that moment, it’s a big deal. Telling me that I shouldn’t feel the way I do, makes me feel like my feelings are irrelevant. And that’s not ok. 

  
So when someone is upset, whether it is a 6 year old kid who got mad at their friend for taking their jump rope or a 22 year old who is upset with something in their life, let them feel it. Their emotions are valid. Their problem is important to them in that moment. Tomorrow it won’t matter, but in that moment, they need to feel like it’s ok to feel the way they do. They need support and they need someone to allow them to express themselves. They need someone who will just listen and not judge. 

Inspire others, inspire yourself

I find inspiration in everything and everyone I encounter in my life. Whether it be a really good quote from a book or a great conversation. 

  
Today I had a conversation with a friend and he said something to me that I played off at the time but really struck me. He told me that all of your problems are things that you can fix. 

I often find myself overwhelmed and am constantly reminded of then quote something along the lines of not worrying about things you can’t change. And today it hit me. There are things that I have the power to change. 

If there is someone that is bothering me, I have the power to not have them in my life. If there is a paper due and I haven’t started, I have the power to start. 

It may seem like “common sense” but I learned freshman year of college that common sense is not a real thing. Sometimes the things that we assume everyone knows… They don’t really know. 

So here’s my tidbit of advice that was given to me: change what you can, and don’t worry about the rest. You have the power to make a change in your life. And you have the power to make it better. So why not? 

-Z 

P.s. Shout out to my friend who may be younger than me but still has wisdom to share 🙂 

Keep the good, leave the bad. 

There are three kinds of people that I have encountered. The first is a person that makes you smile, makes you feel good about yourself and you just want to be around them as much as possible. 

The second is a person that is nice enough and you can converse with them but there is no feelings of joy or sadness. Just kind of there and indifferent. 

The third type of person is someone who makes you feel bad about yourself. This person makes it feel like no matter what you do, it’s just never enough, it’s just insignificant. This person makes you feel insignificant. 

  
I have come to learn that I have trouble letting go of people no matter what type of person they may be. No matter how many times they have ruined something, I feel like I have to be the bigger person and be kind to them. 

Recently I have noticed that the people who make me feel insignificant keep coming back to me because they know I’ll be there. They poison my life with negativity and make things more difficult than they have to be. 

So I’m starting my New Years resolution list and the very first goal is to let go of these type of people. The type who make me feel insignificant. There’s no reason why I should continue to let them poison my life. 

Keep the good, leave the bad. That’s my goal for myself and for you all. Hopefully we can reach it together. 

-Z 

Choose to be kind

I have this habit of getting overwhelmed when there’s a lot of things going on and tend to take it out on people around me. I never do it maliciously, or to be spiteful but sometimes, there’s too many emotions bottled up inside and they come out at all the wrong people. 

It’s been a rough week and there is definitely this feeling of being overwhelmed that I’m still learning to deal with as an emerging adult. 

For one of my classes, I have to read the book “Wonder” about a boy with a face deformity who goes to school for the first time. It’s a children’s book but there are so many profoundly deep moments and ideas that this is my second time reading it and it still surprises me.

There is this English teacher in the story that gives his students a quote once a month that has to do with what they are learning but also has todo with life. 

One of the first quotes he gives is : when given the choice to be right or kind, choose kind. 

  
Now I may be a sentimental person but I feel that this is perfect advice for everyone. This is something that I want hanging in my room at home and in my future classroom. We often forget that others have feelings and are hurt by our words or actions. Choosing to be kind is such a powerful message and I have to say it has helped me put things in perspective this past week. 

So it shall be my mantra for the month of November. Choose to be kind. Because it is a choice. 

Here’s hoping that the rest of this month is a little less overwhelming and a little more kind. 

Check out the book WONDER written by R.J Palacio! It’s a heartwarming book! 

  
Choose to be kind my friends! 

-Z 

Building a community

There’s something to be said as to teaching being a group activity. With the amount of stress and work that goes into teaching, we need to have a support system that will understand us. Sure, a significant other or friend can sympathize but only a fellow teacher will truly understand. Building a community within the workplace is so important. 

  
Today was a professional development day. This means that no kids were in the school and the teachers got together with the administrators of the school and discussed important stuff. They also had different types of workshops. 

Now ideally, the administrators will be supportive and understanding of the situations that teachers deal with. Realistically, it doesn’t always happen that way. 

Relating to people, having people you can turn to to b*tch about the amount of papers you have yet to grade is important. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to stay sane without it. 

There’s two adults in my classroom and we rely on each other. I stay later than I need to so that I can speak with the teacher freely of the happenings of the day or just about how we are feeling.

This may sound silly, but it makes me feel valid. It makes my emotions and stresses feel valid. It’s overwhelming and it’s so comforting to have someone listen to you and understand exactly what you are talking about. 

So today, I made sure to check in with my TA coworkers and checked in with the third grade teachers. Just to see how they were doing. To see if they needed help or just to talk. 

I realized that everyone gets stressed and overwhelmed and that it’s completely natural. It happens. Talk it out. Take a breathe. And keep going.