Monday, February 20, 2012

Things we "GET" to do

Leah came to me the other day and said, "Look at this." She showed me a blank answer on a piece of homework.

Perpetually positive Mr. Olson

She said, "I asked Mr. Olson if I had to do this problem. I didn't think I should have to do it." 

"Well, what did he say?" I asked.

"He said I GET to do this problem, so I HAVE to do it," she sighed.

"No, you GET to!" I laughed.

She groaned.

The power of positive thinking. That is what has kept Mr. Olson teaching elementary school for 34 years.

Thanks Mr. Olson for your kind answer to an interminable question. Thank you for patience when those questions come, the ones you have answered several thousand times during your teaching career.  Thanks for building your students' self-esteem higher than any parent ever could. 

It's a good lesson for all of us. We "get" to do lots of things every day. If we "get" to do them instead of "have" to do them then they have the potential to become great things. If our daily tasks are a privilege to perform, then we perform them with more pride, skill and success. 

I don't know if I will be able to apply this principle to cleaning up dog throw up, or other detestable chores, but there are a thousand other tasks that I "get to do" today by virtue of the fact that I am alive in this world where each day is a gift. 

Mr. Olson has known this secret for lots of years. I am glad he was able to teach it to Leah, Nathan and Sammie, three of my children who GOT to be in his class during their 5th grade year. 


Tani said...

Thanks, Ellen. I really needed this perspective today.

The Purple Lady said...

Life is a privilege. Thanks for the reminder.

Debbie said...

It's a good reminder. I'm with you on dog throw-up, but there are so many other things I "get" to do. I am reminded of when I have been very ill--twice in my life--and just walking to the mailbox to get the mail seemed like a miracle, something I GOT to do. I don't want to have be reminded in the same way again that all the things I wish I could get out of doing are really things I would love to be able to do when I am that ill. I'll be happy, again, to do them. Thanks for reminding me.