Sunday, February 7, 2010

First Day Musings

"If you realized the power of your thoughts, you would never have a negative one." Peace Pilgrim

I have to confess. I am experiementing on my classes. Now, make no mistake. They are a wonderful, bright, talented bunch of young men and women. I adore them and consider it an honor to work with them for 16 weeks. The experiement is: I am telling them just that -- it is my honor to work with them. And, would you believe, they are working harder, coming more prepared, and excelling in their work? I fear, when the semester ends, that I will have a "come-to-the-President" meeting to explain why there are so many A grades in my classes.

But, think about it for a minute.

How many times in an educational environment, okay, any environment, have these young folks been told they are bright, capable, talented, and a pleasure to be with? I'm a Mom; I know how it goes. Pick up your shoes, do your homework, get off the phone, you're late... it goes on and on. But, what if we took the time to tell our children (or our husbands) how wonderful they are or how lucky we are to be with them? How would they react?

Interesting concept, isn't it?

Proverbs 18:21 says: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. "

In other words, what you say, your attitude, inform not only your perception of the world, but other's perceptions of themselves and you as well. If you feed a child junk food, they will be unhealthy. Growth is stunted, well-being compromised, intellect is damaged. Praise, positive thoughts, are like eating from a health food store. It feeds the soul, mind, and heart. It grows a strong, well-adjusted person.

There have been classes that were toxic. One was just a few years ago. One student had a nasty attitude and was negative. In two weeks time, the entire class was mimicking this person. It was a miserable semester. Fortunately, the student did not return to my class the next semester while the others did. The difference was noticable even to them. So we discussed what had happened and I told them to always be mindful of how one person can change an entire group, if the group will allow it. However, it was their choice. Hopefully, it is a lesson they will carry with them.

What are your thoughts this week? Are you positive or negative? Do you praise or criticize? Do you encourage others?


  1. Both my son and I can tell when hubby has been talking to his sister. Talk about a toxic person! His entire family is very negative but she is horrible (I try to give her the benefit of the doubt since she is aspergers).

    This is the same woman who called my daughter on her birthday to tell her what a terrible person her mother (that being moi') is. Sheesh...

    My husband is bipolar so he is very sensitive to picking up negative emotions but I think we are all very easy to influence with emotion.

  2. Ugh. When I taught preschoolers at a parent co-op school a few years back, we dreaded when certain parents would come in because they were so toxic and could stir up the pot by just appearing!
    I was so glad when I left..I really liked working with the was the parents that drove me nuts!
    My glass is always 3/4 full...but this week...can I blame it on hormones? I have been snitty, which rubs off on hubby, which makes the dog get his fur in a knot, which makes the goats get grumpy....
    ok, so, yeah....I musy remember to breathe in good calmoing thoughts!

  3. Matty , I always try to encourage. The Bible tells us to use the tongue to edify and lift each other up. If we are tearing others down what good does it really do? It only hurts people and shows the rotteness that is in the heart of the person doing it. I choose to stay away from those kinds and not let them bother me:-) When I get cranky and nit pick I notice the atmosphere in the home changes and so do the attitudes of everyone here, I try to catch myself and turn it around quick! Encouraging your students can only lead to more self-confidence and success.

  4. I believe that not only being kind but the tone in which you say things is ministering to people. Just saying "you too", when the cashier says "Have a nice day!" can bring joy. What a wonderful teacher you must be!


  5. What a great reminder Matty! What we say and how we say it, whether it be to our kids, our spouses or our students impacts them greatly - for better and for worse. It's our choice.

    Hope it has finished snowing in your area! We're now in the Wisconsin Dells waiting for the snow to leave the Twin Cities before we head home tomorrow.

  6. I missed this posting earlier..... I'm so glad I found it now. I loved hearing the story of how your words of blessing spoken over your students brought such a positive harvest!

    Too many folks really don't realize that their words can bless or curse themselves and others.

    So thanks for sharing...........


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!