Day 2: Beautiful Words

Kelly Gallagher once said, “You should start each day with beautiful words” and ever since, I have begun each day with my students by reading them a poem, teaching them a “beautiful” word or most recently, engaged in the mindful practice of daily affirmations. 

At the start of remote learning, I desperately clung to the words I was saying, hoping that I could live out the affirmations and even more so, I hoped that my students could. Saying affirmations over a Google Meet, unmuted, with lag-time, takes a little bit of the meaningfulness of the experience away, but we continued on. 

Some days, I would say the affirmations and would almost beg myself to believe them so that I could positively take on the day. “We can do hard things… Patience melts away obstacles… I believe in myself.” 

I said these affirmations and a million more to myself as the Jamboard wouldn’t load, as my computer crashed in the middle of a lesson, as my students couldn’t access the link I put in the chat box. I said them over and over to stop the tears of frustration from coming. 

And then, we moved to hybrid learning. I could exhale. I could say these beautiful words with my students. I could feel them more genuinely and so could they. 

Today, we said 3 affirmations together and I felt them so wholeheartedly, I took a moment to take it in. I looked up at my class and asked them what they thought, “I am always moving forward” means? 

My student, who is the old soul of my class, gave her interpretation of the affirmation by saying, “I think that ‘I am always moving forward’ means that even though it might not seem like it, we are never the same. Every day we change. We might do the same things, but we aren’t the same. We moved forward, even if it isn’t noticeable.” 

I could hardly believe her interpretation of the affirmation when another student said, “It means we don’t walk backwards.” I smiled- and said, “Well yes, quite literally, we do not walk backwards.” 

Truthfully, I connected to both interpretations. Sometimes in life our growth isn’t noticeable and we show ourselves so little grace that we feel stuck. On some days we have to make a conscious decision to take an actual step forward. Both feel true to me. Both feel like places I’ve been. Both make me feel so grateful to be with my students in person. 

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8 thoughts on “Day 2: Beautiful Words

  1. Terje says:

    I like the student explanation of “always moving forward.” I can imagine that including affirmations in your morning routine gives you and your students extra boost of resilience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you have these affirmations that guide. The frustration with the limits of teaching words, strong words, through technology resonates with me. I will persevere and hope that when I finally get my students back in front of me, they will have heard at least some of my words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful indeed! Your title captured me right away because of my personal affinity for beautiful words. I am enamored with the way that are using and sharing them with your students.

    Teaching them to develop an appreciation for their sight, sound and meaning is among the most treasurable gifts that you can give to your students. I am tickled by your “old soul” and reminded of the depth of insight that can come from the young in spirit.

    Thank you so much for offering this “slice.” It rings true that frustrations can bring us to our wit’s end, but tenacity can transcend even the most exasperating circumstances.

    Keep Writing! We’re reading. #lovedit

    ~Carla Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rita K. says:

    Kudos to you, both for the beautiful post and your commitment to teaching your students to look for the beautiful, both internally and externally. Just this week, I’ve begin to practice using affirmation. Your post is an affirmation to me! Thank you.

    Like

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