These are lyrics from one of my most favorite songs of all time – For Good from Wicked. As I watched Paw Paw enter a room full of elementary aged children singing Happy Birthday to him this week, I was reminded of how much that dear man has taught me. This week, I wanted to take a few minutes to honor our beloved Paw Paw in hopes that ALL of us will be inspired to achieve such greatness in our own lifetimes.
What Paw Paw Has Taught Me (Without Him Even Knowing It)…
We’ve all had the same conversation with Paw Paw a million times, and it goes something like this…
“Paw Paw, how are you doing today?”
“I don’t know. Maw Maw hasn’t told me yet.”
“I’m great! Why can’t we work seven days a week? Every day just gets better and better.”
Now, we all know that Paw Paw is an 85 year old man, and I don’t believe for one second that everyday is “great.” You can’t live that long and not have aches and pains (in your body and/or your heart). The difference is – Paw Paw chooses his outlook. Rather than letting his condition of wellbeing define him, he defines his own condition of well being. Paw Paw has taught me that our outlook is a choice. You can succumb to the aches and pains of your body and mind and let it bring you down, or you can rise above and change your mind about how you feel. Then even better, you can spread your optimistic outlook on to others, which is exactly what he does each and every day as he moseys up and down our halls. How different would our world be if we all had a “Paw Paw outlook?”
Speaking of moseying… Paw Paw has taught me how to slow down. I go way too fast in life, and as a result, I miss a lot. When I get behind Paw Paw in the halls, I’m forced to slow down and notice so much more. I see the intricate details in a child’s artwork. I actually take the time to read the words they’ve written. I see a beautiful interaction between a child and their parent or another trusted adult in our school. These are the things that matter, and if you’re going too fast, you might miss them. And just for the record….Dan and I live just a couple of streets over from Maw Maw and Paw Paw, and Dan has often joked that whatever speed Paw Paw lacks on his feet, he makes up for when he gets behind the wheel. So watch out! 🙂
Do Small Things with Great Love
To many, Paw Paw would not seem to be this big, important person in the world. He is not known for finding the cure for cancer, for running a Fortune 500 company, or for winning a Nobel Peace Prize. However, his influence extends far and wide. I am pretty certain there wasn’t a dry eye in the house on Friday when the kids welcomed him into the building for his surprise birthday party. Paw Paw has no biological children of his own, but he has made a lifetime of loving all kids (and people) with his whole heart. Every trash can he empties, he empties with love. Every toilet he has scrubbed, he has scrubbed with love. Every rug he has vacuumed, he has vacuumed with love. You see, for Paw Paw, I don’t believe it’s about what he’s doing – it’s about the why (which totally impacts the how). He does those things with great love because he cares deeply about our school and the people in it. He takes a genuine, sincere interest in the human beings he encounters, and then spreads his love like sunshine. If you’re lucky, you know what it’s like to be engulfed in one of those indescribable, melt-your-heart Paw Paw hugs. With his quick wit and his undeniable charm, Paw Paw steals the heart of all those he encounters – not the least of which is our very own sweet, little Ella Cobb. The connection between the two of them is pure magic, and if we could bottle up that energy and sell it to the world, we would never have to fundraise at CSD again. But we can’t…so we have to focus on what we can do. And Paw Paw has reminded me that while I can’t be everyone’s hero and I can’t solve all the problems of the world, I can do small things with great love.
There are many, many other things that we could all add to the Paw Paw list, but I’m sure you agree that the best thing we can do is to find that “Paw Paw” inside of each of us and continue to pass it along to those we encounter, especially our students. Thank you, Paw Paw, for showing us the way and for leaving each of us better than you found us. You’ll never know the full extent of our love for you, but we will certainly try to show you each and every day. Happy Birthday, young man! We hope Maw Maw spoils you rotten and lets you eat whatever you want! 🙂
Monday, March 6th
Teckenbrock to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, March 7th
6th Grade Butterfly Project
Hoover to the Laurels
Love and Logic Parent Session w/ Marianne – 8:30 a.m. in MS
K-7 Open House for Waitlist and New Admits 9:00-11:00
Wednesday, March 8th
Posey to Huntersville Oaks
NO STAFF MEETING THIS WEEK
Thursday, March 9th
Love and Logic Parent Session w/ Marianne – 7:00 p.m. in MS
Friday, March 10th
3rd Grade to Charlotte Symphony
7th Grade Asia Day
ASE Session 3 Ends
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays
As we head into our final training session for 9 Essentials Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom® I wanted to remind us on all we learned throughout the year:
- Neutralize arguing, begging and backtalk by using a one liner.
- Delay the Consequence.
- Provide a healthy dose of empathy before providing the consequence. Use your empathetic statement.
- Use the Recovery Process when your classroom learning environment is being disrupted. Do not stop teaching!
- Develop positive teacher/student relationships by using ” I’ve noticed that ______. I noticed that.”
- Set Limits using Enforceable Statements such as I allow students to remain with the group when they aren’t causing a problem.
- Use Choices to Prevent Power Struggles.
- Use quick and easy preventive interventions.
Our last session will focus on guiding our students to own and solve their problems!