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.
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.