Wednesday, March 13, 2013
As a teacher, I may have underestimated the power of modeling for years. This fact has become abundantly clear as I think about my relationship with my daughter over the past year. It started back last March when I first participated in the Slice of Life Challenge. Hope started pestering me to create a blog for her. After March was over, I slacked off writing my blog and her interest tapered until I did the Slice of Life Challenge with my students in May. Again, she wanted write.
Later this summer, I began Camp Gladiator (CG). CG was my personal fitness challenge to build core strength. My daughter sometimes watched and sometimes she would run in front of me and mock me by saying, "You can't catch me!" Words of inspiration, no doubt. She, however, began running her friends through Camp Gladiator.
During the fall we went to see the President. Hope already had opinions about the election. She would burst out with questions about politics or the world whenever we were in the car listening to NPR. Sometimes she grows weary of listening to NPR and asks to change the channel. I don't. Listening is as important as reading. She designed her shirt for our Saturday outing and made signs, "Third Grader for Obama." No matter her side, she began to understand how the political process worked. She has a model.
Last night trying to reinforce healthy eating we made our dinner together. We ate the same thing. We filled half our plate with cucumbers and strawberries and a slice of cheese pizza. Left to her dad's devices she would have only eaten cheese pizza and more of it. She's a self-proclaimed vegetarian who can sometimes be caught eating a chicken nugget. She has limited protein options cheese and eggs. She will taste most things that come from the ground. My husband and I aren't vegetarians, which is fine, but he and I both modeled being firm in our convictions.
Our students like our own children take cues from us, what we value, they value. What are the messages you are sending? Both positive and negative? They are watching and listening especially when we think they aren't.