The Half Full Cup

There, I have written it, today’s title. But why did I write that? Why, “The Half Full Cup”? Hmm, well I know it came from the end of my post from yesterday;

“And today was one of those days. But tomorrow is another day and I begin each day with the highest of hopes! My cup is still half full!!!”

My morning “Half Full Cup” is also the source of today’s title. I wake up; my dogs are happy to see me, the kitchen is neat because I left it that way the night before, I enjoy my morning coffee/catch up on the world via Apple News on my iPhone/eat my banana routine, and when I get in the car…yup, I get to listen to my playlist! (catch my earlier post titled, “Get Your Smile On,”  if you don’t get that reference).

But, I feel like it came from somewhere else as well. Something really good that happened today.

Ah, yes, that’s it, the other reason, the really good reason, and it lives in a book!

So, today was a much better day. My class had their recorder recital this morning and rather than set them off because it interrupted their routine, they kind of came together. Maybe yesterday they were more nervous than I realized and maybe that affected yesterday (the naughty day). And maybe today was better because their recital was behind them. I’ll never know but it was while we were reading that I had my really big “Half Full Cup” moment.

We are currently reading Katherine Applegate’s, Crenshaw. My class adored The One and Only Ivan and I have been anxious to read her new book. The book is well over my third graders reading level and we have to pause often to analyze what is going on. These moments offer me a perfect opportunity to reflect with the children on what would happen if they were trying to read the book independently. “Oh, we wouldn’t get this at all,” they agreed. But one theme that has popped out and that we come around to often while reading is, you got it, facing life with a cup “half full” or “half empty”.

You see the main character is a self-professed pessimist and his “half full cup” parents drive him crazy! My class and I have begun to use this analogy as we discuss the events in the story. But even more importantly, we have begun using it to analyze how we treat each other. So yelling at someone is a “half empty cup” solution because it doesn’t lead to a resolution. Using an “I Message” or simply explaining how someone could act differently carries that “half full cup” message. This is the message that is so important to getting along.

And getting along is something many of my students need to improve at.

So I guess I could call it, “The Half Full Cup” method of getting along. Or I could shout out a huge thank you to the authors of children’s books everywhere for giving us those analogies that children get. And I need to also recognize this forum, this Slice of Life we are writing every day, because it encourages me to pause, to think, to question, to ponder, to grow

as a writer

and as a teacher

and as a person.

 

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