Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reframing the Story--A Reminder as I Start Another School Year

I am learning about the importance of framing a stories to the point of view that I find important--to the point of view that I want to represent me.  Too often I tell the story in a victim way rather than a visionary way.  I can look at the exact same story in a variety of ways and the way I choose to look at it makes all of the difference.

For example, below is the same story played out in two different ways:

Take 1:  This summer I have been swimming laps and taking water movement classes in my local pool.  Last Thursday I was anticipating doing water intervals, as I had been away from the water for several days.  I was in the pool, dancing to the music with several other women and men.  My heart was starting to pump and I felt energy arising within myself and with the group as our movement reached a crescendo.  Suddenly, the lifeguard blew her whistle.  This sound is rare at our pool and everyone looked in surprise.  “Clear the pool,” shouted the guards and we all exited as quickly as we could.

"Why?" we wondered as we stood by the pool sidelines.  Soon we found out.  A baby pooped in the pool.  Frustrated I sat in a pool chair and moped.  It had been four full days since I was in the water.  I so wanted to exercise and now I couldn’t.  And who are the parents who let their child poop in the pool.  My world got darker and darker with my ugly thoughts.  A grey cloud covered my head and went with me as I continued what turned out to be a bleak day…

Take 2:  This summer I have been swimming laps and doing water intervals in my local pool.  Last Thursday I was anticipating doing water intervals, as I had been away from the water for several days.  I was in the pool, dancing to the music with several other women and men.  My heart was starting to pump and I felt energy arising within myself and with the group as our movement reached a crescendo.  Suddenly, the lifeguard blew her whistle.  This sound is rare at our pool and everyone looked in surprise.  “Clear the pool,” shouted the guards and we all exited as quickly as we could.

"Why?" we wondered as we stood by the pool sidelines.  Soon we found out.  A baby pooped in the pool.   Wow.  I really wanted to swim today because I miss the water but thank goodness the staff takes this so seriously.  Look at them clearing the pool and doing the things needed to make the water safe for us to swim.  They even took the equipment we were wearing to sanitize it.  I think I will relax in the sun instead--and count it as a day of exercise.  Tomorrow is a new pool day.  And today, well, today I am going to enjoy a bit of sun...

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In life we get choice as to how to frame our story.  Both scenarios were exactly the same.  The frame was different.  And it makes all of the difference.

Today is the first day of a new school year for me.  As I start a new year with staff and with students, I choose to frame the stories that are given to us as we make our way through the year in a positive and inspiring way.  If we each did this, what a wonderful year we would have.  Despite the circumstance, in both good and bad, positive and negative, we choose positivity.  We choose inspiration.  What could be better than that?!  



Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for teachers and teachers of literacy to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.

12 comments:

  1. What a great reminder for life - reframe and focus on the good. Thanks for this post.

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  2. "We choose inspiration." Just the quote I needed to read as I am hurriedly trying to prepare my library for our students who are arriving next week. I am lucky to have a job I love and lots of resources at hand--there's my positive spin!

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  3. What a wonderful post! It clearly illustrates that our outlook frames our moods and life. My daughter works through a lot of anxiety & I am always trying to reframe her fears & have her talk about them. Thank you!

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  4. What a wonderful post! It clearly illustrates that our outlook frames our moods and life. My daughter works through a lot of anxiety & I am always trying to reframe her fears & have her talk about them. Thank you!

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  5. You should share this piece with your students. besides finding the poop part funny, I think it would be powerful for them to see your thinking.

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  6. Deborah, thank you for writing this slice to remind us that we can reframe the perspective with writing. I also want to thank you because I sure could use this practice in my life.

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  7. What a great reminder to send doom/gloom packing and look at the positive. I know I am lucky to be living this life, I need to embrace every moment. Have a great year and keep sending out those positive vibes!

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  8. Oh, Deb, I love that you shared this. What a marvelous lesson for us all, and I hope that some teachers will share with their students and parents, too. Funnily enough this just happened to the pool where the grand-girls take swimming lessons. My daughter said they arrived only to find that everything was canceled. Guess poop happened when we don't plan for it. Another lesson?

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    1. sometimes poop happens, eh, Linda!?

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  9. "In life we get choice as to how to frame our story." What a great reminder to think when facing either negative or unexpected circumstances! Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Deb, this is such an important ability you share - thank you for showing us the possibility that is always there and how powerful one tiny shift can be!

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  11. Today at the close of our department meeting I asked teachers to note 3 things that make them happy, 2 thoughts that are circling in their minds (from our updates) and 1 question. One teacher asked, "What kind of year is it going to be?" I responded: You choose the kind of year you will have. I am choosing awesome! Choice and framing are key when it comes to our emotional responses. I love how you wrote these two pieces. Had to laugh too because for a second there I was afraid someone you knew pooped in the pool.

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