When I was a new parent, I remember reading a lot about how to teach a child to delay gratification. Mind you, I was in teacher training at the time, and my daughter Gret got to be a guinea pig for many of the classroom skills I was learning to use. Ed used to laugh at me and state that "she will either end up very smart or hopelessly confused!" I think she's done pretty well as she's now working as a University Vice-President and raising two very lovely girls of her own! (brag moment there, sorry!)
Anyways, the gist of the above is that I am presently reflecting on this very vital life/school skill and actually putting some of it into practice in my personal life. As a few of you know, we recently found the "house of our dreams" for retirement in my husband's hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan. We went up this summer with only intent to "start looking" and literally stumbled upon the house that fit ALL our wishlist requirements. So what do you do? Well, you buy it, of course; because when you are ready to retire, you don't want the house that fits you perfectly belonging to someone else! So we did just that. And now, the itch to retire has become a very present and much more obvious reality. One that I will have to learn to control, since at present I am only 62 and not yet eligible for Medicare. However, we will get to use our "house of dreams" in the summers and on holidays for the next few years, and should grace or gainful employment allow us to relocate in advance of our retirement ages, that would be an added blessing. It's really exciting and awesome to think about a place sort of waiting for you. Decisions about the future are never easy, so having the "where" of this figured out makes figuring out the "when" of it a little less stressful.
Now to thinking about school. I am forcing myself to physically work in my classroom this week... since we go back to meetings next week and start classes the week following. I am making myself get up, do my a.m. routine, and everything. Had fun cleaning and puttering in the classroom today and am sitting at my desk there as I write this. How will I teach my students patience and delay of gratification this year. Will they be willing to trust themselves to wait for good results as they work through their writing and thinking with me this term. I have a large bunch of sophomores this year for a change. I love their puppy-like energy and enthusiasm. They are so focused on the "Big thing" (driving) that looms on their horizon in this year of their lives. They make me smile since I can still recall the first time I stepped on an accelerator with my dad beside me in the front seat bravely believing I would not, in fact, kill him! Patience is a virtue... and we can all use more; myself included! Have a great day!