Do you ever wonder what?
There have been several things recently that have happened that bring questions to mind: the abrupt end to a football season, a student managing health issues, and refining techniques in the classroom to help students become they best they can be.
Asking Why may be the first question that comes to mind. And it’s actually useful when you use it in reflection or in retrospect. However, asking Why has that chance to spin into ‘Why Me?’ Then it’s really an unfair question in itself. After all….why not me? (Obviously, we can’t expect problem-free lives. God guides us to Himself when the trials come.)
The better question to ask for choosing a response is a What question. A What question does more in bringing about forward progression, positive change, and the opportunity to influence others walking the same road. It’s a healthy habit to ask ‘What.’
What does this mean? What will I choose? What are my reasons? What steps can I take now?
Some ‘What’ Influencers
- Our headmaster, Mr. Hahn, said it so well in a letter he sent to the football players regarding a shortened football season. While we are all disappointed and missing the play on the field, he is right to suggest the What questions: What is God trying to teach me? What will my reaction be to the situation, both inward and outward? What will I do?
- Elliott Fry has been an inspiration to a student, both of them dealing with childhood diabetes. Not only one student, but he is a positive influence for everyone that knows his story. (Link below.) He may have had his own moments of Why, but he didn’t get stuck there. Asking the What questions can bring action to keep moving In a positive direction. It’s worked for Elliott. He’s busy now being a football success for South Carolina!
- From the Love and Logic seminar I attended recently with several colleagues, one of the best questions to return to a student learning about consequences is “What are you going about that?” This allows for thought, consideration, and places the choice in the student’s hands to solve his or her problem. These few words help with growing responsibility. Students are held accountable and, best yet, are realizing that they can make a choice and live through it.
Types of influencers are around us and are a part of making us who we are. I was surprised recently by some mail I received as I read of my nomination for TX District Outstanding Lutheran Educator of the Year. My influencers have obviously been at work! Education is not a ‘one-man-show’ by any means. It’s those around me that encourage and inspire me to keep on keeping on and to take steps in new directions. What will my response be to this nomination? What will I do? For one, it will be to thank those who nominated me (when I find out!). I’ll also continue learning, teaching, and stretching myself into new territory as I collaborate and connect with others.
You’re an influencer every day in the classroom. What things do you do to make an impact and guide your students toward productive actions with lasting results?