Choose Your Attitude

Choose your attitude.  It's something I've heard time and again, but rarely have I needed that reminder more than today. It started with a body that did not want to get up.  I creaked and moaned my way into a tepid shower, trying to shock my body into changing its mind about the need for more sleep.  I then dealt with my dear seven year old daughter and her headstrong dressing habits.  All before 7:00 am.

Being extremely type-A and a creature of habit, things that get in the way of my laid out plan really hose me.  I mean really hose me.  Laid back is not a descriptor of my personality.  Period.  I have no control over it and stopped trying long ago.

What I do have control over is my ability to choose my attitude.  Yep, I may get completely internally irate over things for which I have no control, but it is within those moments that I see a fork in the road. I can either let it consume me and lash out with an Exorcist-like rage or take a deep breath, really assess the gravity of what happened and deal.  I choose the latter.

What on earth does this have to do with tech integration?  Tell me you haven't planned an entire lesson around a webpage's activity or relied on a computer that suddenly won't turn on.  The one thing that everyone in technology can and will be dysfunctional at some point.  Usually at the least opportune moments (for example, during an observation... That's a fun one!)  Tell me you haven't felt like this cartoon at least once already this year... (for those of you who say you haven't, you either have a tech guy that is a god, or you are an out and out liar).

credit to Jerry Fahrni for his brilliant depiction of my day

So, when you run across those various moments in your day, choose your attitude.  Find the joy. Today's joy was in sharing the brilliance of code with two classes of high school sophomores.  Back in December, our school took part in the Hour of Code activities sponsored by and Khan Academy.  We had completely incredible code-writing happening in second grade all the way up through 12th.

Sammy working on MIT's Scratch program
 I put together two Padlet walls containing activities and videos to showcase the process to the group. I found happiness in the fact that this teacher could have said 'forget it' when time got away from him before Christmas break, but instead chose to reschedule for this week.  

How cool is it to provide a meaningful activity for the benefit of the kids when it might have been easier to skip it??!  Have you met sophomores?  By rights, there are two types. Obnoxious or comatose.  Not ours! Today, I saw kids completely engaged!  Whether furiously working to make their coded shapes within the Khan Academy activity or make the Angry Bird reach the pig in the activity, these kids were alive with deep thinking like I have never seen them before. That, my friends, is SUCCESS.  Here are the two Padlet links I have created for our elementary and ms/hs, if you're interested in supporting your own budding coders.

Dalton and Levi working diligently on

So, despite the fact that I had a 6 minute lunch break, had lemonade accidentally spilled all over me and my computer by a coworker, and didn't get out of the school door until nearly 5 again, it is a good day.  Even though my daughter once again gave me a run for my money as a master public tantrum thrower, it was a good day. Even as my dog barfed up whatever funk he just ate, it is a good day (I can't make this stuff up).  It was a blessed day, in fact.  Why? Because I chose to make it that way.

Join me in "choosing your attitude". We, and our students, will be the better for it.


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