My husband Eric is the inspiration behind this post. He said something to me that I knew I had to share with everyone. I’d be selfish if I didn’t. Recently, he made an area of our home into an office. I wanted a place just for Dr. Joy. When we talked about it I wasn’t sure what it would look like because we had limited space. The outcome was absolutely gorgeous. He framed my academic degrees, a few special photos of the children and one photo of a much younger version of the two of us. He hung them on a solid black wall. When he was finished, he brought me to that wall and said, “Look in the mirror.” When I looked at that wall (my mirror), I saw my hopes, dreams, hard work, struggle and most importantly I saw my worth. I wanted everyone I knew to look in their mirror from a place of value, appreciation and love.
What Eric did that day was affirm me in a manner that was so sincere, it opened a door that sparked my energy, ignited my confidence and nurtured my spirit. Affirmation is powerful!
In the article, What to Do in Week One, Rick Wormeli stated, “When we affirm to each student, ‘Yes, you exisit; I accept all that you are and I value time in your company, it opens the door’.” It’s that sincere affirmation that goes beyond rituals, tangible gifts and classroom celebrations. The author went on to describe, “It’s like the Na’vi expression of deep respect in the movie Avatar: ‘I see you’.”
How often do you look in your mirror from a place of deep respect? How do we create learning environments that nurture a culture of deep respect? Come back as I explore the topic, Nurturing Relationships Through Deep Respect.
I see you,
Wormeli, R. (2016). What to Do in Week One? Educational Leadership, 74 (1). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership