In my mind, I'm thinking about teaching. I know when some see the title "Trojan Time" they will be transported back to DMS. Ironically, parent/teacher conferences are this week. As I'm reflecting, I don't recall much about who mastered the most objectives, but I do remember teaching morals in everyday lessons and especially during "Trojan Time." I remember as a teacher we had time slots sprinkled throughout the school year to connect with students. These were called "Trojan Time." The name changed over time, but I loved these times with my students. We were assigned either a boy or girl group. We would meet and do bonding and self help type lessons. At least that's what I did with the time. I was always assigned boys. Most teachers would prefer girls and it didn't matter to me. I remember sharing lessons I created with The Last Lecture, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and classic Fat Albert cartoons.
As the year progressed, we would have themed fun activities. We had paper football tournaments during Super Bowl season and checker tournaments during March Madness. We posted a huge bracket and watched as students competed and moved through the bracket. During the World Series, we would have a whiffle ball a tournament outside. Did I bond with those guys? You bet I did! We would do 20 minutes of moral literature with discussion and 30 minutes of fun. Most teachers hated it, but I loved this time which brings me to today's reflection. One thing we focused on was being comfortable in our own skins.
Today as I read the message says, we all have our own life path. We all have our own purpose. I can't say my path is better or worse than anyone else's path. You've heard live and let live. I warned my students of the C&C bug: competition and comparing. Each life is valuable and unique. Our purpose is to take what we have been given and make the most of it. As we walk our path, we need a strong foundation. We need to base how we react in the world according to our most cherished principles. My top ten principles are: love, kindness, acceptance, honesty, forgiveness, gratitude, loyalty, respect, fairness, and responsibility. Everyone has their own top ten and that's okay. Remember, it's your life. I just hope I made your foundation stronger.
Today my students, reflect on your own principles and get busy. It's up to you to make the world a better place. Live out your principles. We only get one life. Forget competing and comparing yourself to others. Be the best you! You are a true original. No one can live your purpose but you! As Mrs. Alley would post for my students of the week, "Thank you for being you!" Now my students of the week, shine!
Sarah Anderson Alley
Dedicated to two GREAT principals that lead with principles: Tyles Davenport and Cal Johnson.
I thank you both for allowing me freedom to teach and inspire in my last teaching years.