By Joan Brock. 4th Grade Math. Published at Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 - 07:07:47 AM.
Today I dont pretend as much as I used to. I try really hard to be honest with myself and other people. When I find myself slipping back into that weaker part of me (and I do), the "pleaser" part of me, I have to remind myself Im not here to please others, to look good, or to impress people. When Im overly worried about being judged or losing someones love or admiration, it makes it difficult to be real. I also have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of life is not to insulate myself. Im not here to build a cushiony life so I can escape from reality. The point of being given a life is so I can live in it! And that means getting really messy in relationships if need be, in order to work through problems. So we can keep growing, well have to get used to heaping doses of reality.
Determination is like having your own private football linebacker. Linebackers are part of the defensive team, who provide extra protection to the quarterback. When we show inordinate amounts of determination, we become more resistant to set-backs. The linebacker in us refuses to let the opposition take us down. In a blitz, the linebacker sacks or hurries the opposing offenses quarterback. The linebacker in us will either pursue and demolish the obstacle, or at the very least, apply enough pressure to hurry the play. To have your dreams, youll have to weave and bob around unending obstacles, persist through waves of discouragement (even heartbreak), and charge fiercely towards your goal like a linebacker with the red of blitz in his eye. Who said you couldnt learn anything from football.
Can you answer that question? Keep reading and see if your answer changes. Ive had the pleasure and privilege to volunteer as a facilitator for a small group of 4th grade girls. Sponsored by the Girl Scouts, this program was created to help 4th grade girls craft a vision of their current and future potential. The curriculum covers 10 weeks of subjects ranging from healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, to anti-bullying and building positive friendships and family relationships. Its been a fascinating experience to watch these 9-year-olds interact with each other during these mature subject conversations and activities. Since I have no children, my frame of reference was clearly limited, and it is not hard to compare them to the leadership groups and individuals I coach.
A few minutes later I sent her an email and apologized. She responded to my email a few days later with a simple Apology Accepted, an emoji thumbs up, and a wish for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Just like that I had apologized, and she accepted. It was over. Something I have worried about on and off for almost 40 years was over. Im not sure what I was afraid of or what I expected to feel, its not like she would have actually called me, its not like Id bump into at the grocery store, we lived almost 1,000 miles from each other, but I was still afraid. I guess I expected to make my amends and feel great, like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, but I didnt. I expected to see unicorns outside my window sliding down a rainbow giving me a high five, but I didnt see that either. I just thought to myself, OK check that off the list.
Suddenly the weaker part of me that had wanted to downplay and make excuses for her behavior had to face a very harsh reality. I was horrifyingly thrust into the truth, because theres no way to downplay a tragedy of this magnitude. My denial was instantaneously "outed." Once you see that youve been denying whats true, or in my case, pretending it "wasnt as bad" as it seemed, youre swamped with guilt. Regret, blame, disgrace, self-condemnation and failure pull up a chair and take root in your psyche, becoming your unwanted constant companions. Once youve been "outed" in such a big way, its time to admit to yourself (and others) what you did well, but also where you dropped the ball and retreated. Whether its a failed friendship, a failed relationship or marriage, or having failed as a parent, life always gives you the opportunity (yes, I said opportunity) to step out of pretense and back into reality.
English Language Arts Common Core Standards The common education standards adopted by over 45 states this year includes a robust English Language Arts component. It emphasizes utilitarian writing and reading. For example, in 4th grade, students are asked to read 50% literary texts and 50% informational texts. This changes in secondary school to 30% literary and 70% informational. The writing emphasizes expository writing, persuasive writing and narrative writing. The percentage breakdowns in 4th grade are 30% persuasion, 35% explaining, and 35% to share experiences. That changes in twelfth grade to 49% persuasion, 40% explaining and 20% to share experiences.
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