Be yourself. But like, way better.

It's December and everyone is high strung and I suspect the supermoon didn't help.

Yesterday I lost my cool in one of my classes.

Most students were being squirrelly and distracted, and some were being real ding-dongs. 
My classroom wasn't a room full of diligently-working angels.

But that's irrelevant, because they're kids and I'm the adult.
And it's literally my job to be the adult.
(not to mention to design instruction that doesn't leave much room for ding-dong tendencies)

I was reactive and ugly and mean. 
Grouchy at best and hurtful at worst.

It bothered me all day. 

This morning, I started checking thesis statements and outlines for the essays students are developing.
Their works-in-progress are amazing. 
Their learning is evident, in all of its tiny stages, right there in the documents.

A lot of them worked really hard on it.
The proof is in the pudding, and I'm really, really proud of them.

These two things don't have everything to do with each other. 
Except to remind me that this work requires my best self.

And there isn't room for my ding-dong tendencies, either, when true learning is at stake.
Not just what's in the assignments, but what this entire experience is about for young people.

My work happens in front of an observant and impressionable teenage audience multiple times a day.
They deserve the best.

And I have to bring it.

image via Peyton Fulford's Abandoned Love project

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