Sunday’s Reflection: “My Happy Place”
As I took my Walk, I thought about My Happy Place.
Last Sunday, I visited a physician due to the dizziness that I experienced at work the previous week. Everything checked out fine until the doctor took my blood pressure, which was 146/80. Not freakishly high but bothersome–as I had been off work for nine days. I didn’t need medicine, but I had to monitor my levels for a week and return.
In addition to that, she advised me to find a “Happy Place.”
That night, I wondered if it was the wisest decision to re-enter the classroom. But I knew that I got to be there for my kids.
Monday, I realized that being in my room is exactly what the doctor ordered. I got the kids back in the groove and introduced three-digit subtraction.
Later, I went to a local CVS and took my blood pressure: 126/85.
Tuesday, I received a new student. I welcomed her to the Phenomenal Room and let her know that it was a safe space. To further include her in the process, she recapped what we did with her classmate on Seesaw.
Knowing that she was a tick behind, I bought her a few resources on my Tuesday visit to Barnes&Noble.
(Missed an opportunity to take blood pressure)
Wednesday morning, I took my blood pressure before school…125/98. Obviously, 98 is a little high, so I was worried, but one of my babies raised my spirits.
While I was conducting a read-aloud about LeBron’s life, I asked the kids why he started doing better in school when he picked up a basketball.
Most of the responses were solid. Then one child responded: “Because he realized who he was on the inside.”
Me(In My Head): “Shut yo mouth and keep on talking.”
Me(For Real): “Whoaa…We going to stop right there.” (Ended it on a high note)
Thursday, after my kids participated in “Conver” Stations, I challenged them to compare/contrast two people: Rob Mendez and Nick Vujicic. It wouldn’t be easy–as both gentlemen were born with no arms or legs. So, the kids would have to analyze and be empathetic.
Before they compared/contrasted, I had them determine the theme of each person’s life. For Mendez, most of the kids said: “Never Give Up.” It was technically true, but I wanted them to dig deeper. So, I asked them to not use never give up for Nick Vujicic.
Kid #1: “Always believe in yourself.”
Kid #2: Push beyond who you are.”
Kid #3: You don’t have to worry if something is wrong with you.”
Check this statement out when I asked them to note the similarities and differences.
Kid: “They have a problem and don’t doubt themselves. They’re different because they have different personalities.” (Love when students use high-end vocabulary.)
Concluding the lesson, I gave them a prompt: Who Inspires You? I found out that the person who inspires one of my students is me.
She wrote: Who Inspires me? Mr.Short! be cusae I want to be just like him. We do…dance off, outside class, cool magnetism games, and cool books and he lets us do seesaw.
As she left that day, she told me: “Mr.Short, what I said is true? I want to be like you.” (In my feels)
Blood Pressure that night: 130/86
Friday was concerning and rewarding. For the first time, I recorded myself teaching a full lesson-a read-aloud-with the help of my Social Media Manager. It’s something that I was advised to do early in my career, but I’ve always been weirded out by it.
Although it was strange, I enjoyed seeing my classroom in motion.
An hour or so later, I read a short biography of Barack Obama and asked the kids a series of questions. After that, I had them answer an extended response about why Obama wanted to help people.
Again, the kid who said that the two gentlemen had different “personalities” impressed me.
In response to the question, he wrote: “He didn’t want people to grow up like he did.”
Me: “And how is that?’
Him: “His dad left to a different country. The other man, he didn’t know that great. Obama, it was hard because he didn’t get to see his dad that much.”
In the evening, the kids completed a Math quiz and frontloaded Rocks and Soil vocabulary. Following those two things and the dance off, I took the kids to the library. While they were in there, I had my blood pressure checked. It spiked to 140/90. (Initially, it read 160/96)
Worrisome but I had to end the day the correct way, so I had the kids chant Phenomenal—as we do every Friday.
Heading home, I was encouraged. One of my babies, the same one who says I inspire her, uploaded a video to Seesaw singing Feliz Navidad to me.
Saturday, I attended a training, spent some time with my older sister’s family and then checked my blood pressure…129/84.
Sunday evening, I returned to the physician. The nurse practitioner told me to go to my happy place. So, I thought of my babies as she checked my blood pressure…120/70.
I found My Happy Place.
I leave you with two things.
1. What’s your happy place?
2. How often do you go to it?
Jeremiah Short, Educator