What You Water Grows

Here we are nearing the conclusion of another school year. Even as a veteran teacher this year has been exhausting, and like any year it has been a year of growth. Yes, saying I’ve grown is the positive spin of saying there have been challenges, however, what I realize more than ever is the need to focus on the outcomes I want to see rather than those I don’t. I have framed this in my mind to say, “What I water grows,” which has helped me in times of heightened stress to reframe where I spend my energy.

For example, a child comes to school having had an insufficient night’s sleep. This means the student is tired, they lack concentration and are subject to mood swings. I can choose to focus on their inattention and poor interactions with me and their peers, or I can acknowledge their stress, I can help them get organized to make some progress, and I can give them space to sort things out on their own. When I ask myself, “What are you watering right now?” It helps me think about whether I am centering on the behaviors that I want to see rather than the ones I don’t. 

Here’s the secret sauce to achieving success – it won’t happen all at once. There have been days when I saw little to no growth in certain students, but I continued to focus on the behaviors I wanted to see. “You need to wear your sports shoes instead of your Crocs,” I’d tell them, and when they wear their shoes the next class, I’d tell them I notice and a thumbs up since this is the desired outcome. It might take multiple reminders, and even a communication home to parents sometimes, but the message continued to be the same, ultimately leading to success.

Students, like plants, thrive with love and nurturing. I still have to remind myself of this when I give the wrong sort of attention to a student or group. Am I spending my time ‘watering’ the empty patch of dirt, the behavior I am trying to stop or avoid, or am I watering the plants, which is what I want to thrive. Eventually, after focusing on what I want to grow, I will have a classroom full of students who feel safe and ready to learn.

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Wyatt Franz, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

Pair this blog post with the following:

Know Your Why by Dr. Cara Grant

Being A Champion by Vickie Merrick

Finding Their Swish by Judy LoBianco

Have you read the latest Book of the Month recommendation?

One thought on “What You Water Grows

  1. Pingback: Developing Leaders in Health Advocacy – #slowchathealth

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