Friday, September 28, 2012

What I Learned from the NFL Ref Lock-out Part 1

I have given myself some time to heal from the MNF fiasco. As you can see, we are huge sports fans at our house, in our family, and we usually take these losses quite hard...especially hubby. He can be found pacing back and forth wearing the carpet thin during a Packer game. He has gotten better with time. With a loss, he used to pout and act like he was just diagnosed with a terminal illness for at least 3 days and then he would move on just in time for the next game. As of late, he has been able to suffer in silence and then sees that there are much bigger things in life to stress about (he usually chooses gas prices or the ozone layer -- you know, things he can control). 

I am not going to lie, I even felt a little gray cloud following me around in the morning. To make matters worse, I had to go into a room of 24 students. Going to my beloved classroom was not the hard part. The hard part was listening to all of them parrot back their parents' interpretations of the big game. Some parents are pro-Packers, some not.

Then came the moment of truth..."Mrs. Sanderfoot, how did you feel about that game last night?"
As  teacher, I am supposed to teach these children to be open-minded and to accept others and to have good character. So I avoided the question with, "Oh my, what a rough game."
Yet, my buddy Nick pressed on, "But did you think it was a touchdown?"
I avoided further, "It was a tough call to make." In my head all I could think was: No it wasn't. It was so clearly an interception.
Nick still wasn't satisfied, "Mrs. Sanderfoot, did you think it was a bad call? My dad said the refs sucked."

I can agree or I can make this a teachable moment. And this is where I had an epiphany (good word, right?).

I had just read a book to my students about the Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. The title kind of gives away the plot but the important lesson in the story is that everyone makes mistakes and we need to get a sense of humor about them and move on. Time for the"text to world connection." 

Everyone makes mistakes everyday -- big and small. Now imagine that your mistakes were broadcast on national television and then everyone repeatedly analyzed your mistake for a full week afterward on ESPN and local/national news stations. 

You would see that moment when my mouth can't find the right words, you would definitely see me falling or tripping up the stairs (Grace is not my middle name), you would see me lose my temper with my kids, and even forget to save my receipt from grocery shopping so that hubby  could balance my check-book. While some parts would be quite entertaining for others, I would have to relive those mistakes over and over. 
Now it is obviously easier if people admit that they made a mistake so that we can forgive and try to forget, but who likes to do that.
So that is how I explained it to my students. Hopefully I taught them a little about empathy and forgiveness. And it is a great reminder to myself each time I see that interception....I mean mistake replayed on TV.
Part 2 maybe later....I have to get ready for school. Have a great day!

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