Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Scotland and Grace All Day Long

Today I was teaching English class to my sixth graders. I pointed to a picture of a boy with red hair, wearing a kilt. I asked the class, "What country is he from?" Their answers ranged from, "America!" to "Africa!" to "England!" And while we could teach an entire lesson straightening-out their confusion about the differences between countries and continents, this wasn't the time, so I just said, "He's from Scotland."

At this point, my co-teacher jumped in and said, "No, he's from the U.K."

I just smiled, shook my head, and moved on with the class. But afterwards, I Googled the information just to be sure and told her, "I just checked, to be sure, and Scotland is indeed a country. Not everyone in the U.K. wears kilts. That's something unique to the country of Scotland."

She just said, "No."

I could go on and on about all the reasons that I think my new co-teacher is a difficult person to work with. But that wouldn't be kind or necessary, because the real moral of the story is what my reaction to her says about meAt my worst, I want to gripe about how SHE is the problem and to be honest, I spend a lot of time here. But at my best, I know that she's not inherently difficult, it's my reaction to her. This is really about me. Damnit.

And that's a terribly uncomfortable thought: that our biggest frustrations and complaints in life can't always be blamed on someone else. Usually we are the ones who need to do the changing.

So, here's what I learned about myself today:

-I feel like I am SO different from my co-teacher

-And yet, we are quite similar in many ways

-We are both confident and outspoken people

-We both like to be in control

-I feel upset being corrected in front of my students

-I have a hard time swallowing my pride

-There's a childish part of me that needs her to know I AM RIGHT!

-I struggle to let things go and move on

Sounds like I've got a lot of work to do.

Deep breaths.
And Grace.

Grace all day long.