Good grades, good kids, good finances and even a good life doesn’t just happen.
It has nothing to do with luck or lucky breaks.
Over the years I have had it said to me “your lucky”. Your lucky you can do that, have the time to do that, have kids like that, have a dog like that! Oh, please. It’s about taking your battle wounds and getting over them. Get over yourself. Take an active role and responsibility about life, your circumstances, your choices.
As we climb, and yes it has been a climb back from troubling months. Metaphorically, it is wonderful to be now out of the hole and looking down in the trench that could have, and I know it has for many families, buried us alive!
Are you familiar with the donkey and the farmer story:
Shake it off and take a step up
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; so it just wasn’t worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realizing what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely.
The farmer peered down into the well, and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of all the neighbors. Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.
We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!
And finally, the donkey gave the farmer who tried to bury him a good kicking. Which brings me to another moral for this story – When you try to cover your ass, it always comes back and gets you.
I want to share with you an excerpt from “her” latest report card. I share this rather than to be a bragging parent BUT so that you can see as dark as a certain time in your life can seem, with a vision and the other points I made above you can change the trajectory of YOUR LIFE.
“‘She’ continues to have a strong grade 8 year. She has proven herself to be very responsible student in how she manages her class time, monitors her assignment due dates and handles her behavior in all classroom situations (group work, lessons, literacy workshops, the lunchroom, the gym etc). ‘Her’ responsibility is especially evident in her completed classroom work which is always thoroughly completed in a manner that it is clear she used the time provided to her well. She puts great details into her assignments, and she continuously produces work that suggests she is both using feedback from previous assignments and self-assessment strategies (reviewing success criteria, checklists, reviewing task instructions, revising, editing, etc) to produce solid work. What is truly impressive is that ‘she’ can be relied upon to handle herself in a generally mature manner at all times with few (if any) reminders from teachers and minimal direct supervision.
An example of this is during math: When I am occupied with a small group, ‘she’ is always attending to her own responsibilities and does not require any reminding to focus on her learning. This is reflective of the initiative she brings to learning, always seeking out new opportunities to expand on parts of classroom inquiry that she finds interesting. An example of this is her willingness to continue interesting discussions from class with her peers outside of class time. This shows she is willing to step out of her comfort zone, even when socializing, to take risks for the sake of learning and discovery on a challenging topic. When taking part in cooperative learning (taking roles and working in groups) ‘she’ is an extremely positive collaborator. She encourages her group mates that may be reluctant to get on task to join in with the group, and does so in a manner where everyone is treated with respect and kindness. She will always do an equitable share of the work and ensure her role (i.e. recorder) is upheld through any activity. ‘She” has shown continuous growth and improvement this school year. She is encouraged to keep up the good work and the positive attitude as we move into her final term of elementary school!”