Monday, November 5, 2007

Carpe Diem!

As coolcatteacher says in her post, "Motivational Monday: Dead Poet's Society Carpe Diem Scene", are you who you want to be? Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but right now, before it is too late. None of knows the time we go home, but all of us can seize the day right now.
Success in life is achieved through seizing each hour and doing whatever needs to be done in that hour. We are not successful through self-advancement but through service. Integrity is a characteristic of selflessness that I urge learners in my room to adopt. Eight steps towards integrity enumerated by Straford Sherman in 2003 include:

  • doing what we say we will
  • doing the right thing
  • taking responsibility for our words & actions
  • supporting our own weight
  • considering the big picture
  • respecting others
  • seeing ourselves clearly
  • defining rules & values against the plumbline
I like the Dead Poet's Society scene too and often show this movie in classes in the springtime when I am away at a conference. But am I really seizing my days? Constant introspection is needed to be sure that I am. I must be on guard constantly, Do I fail to measure up? Of course I do. How much more those tweens and teens in our schools who are never taught about integrity? I need to arm them, to provide them with tools they can use throughout their lives.
Many of you know I have been overwhelmed recently. I am doing a bookfair, my fulltime teaching, have a presentation looming, and have been ill. Hopefully, some of these pressures will melt away and I can give attention again to that which I love - writing! Thanks for putting up with me.
Sherman, S (2003). Rethinking Integrity. Leader to Leader. 28, 39-45.
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kenrodoff said...

With my students, I give them the following definition of integrity:

'the ability to do the right thing when no one is looking'

And just for the existential in all of us: if we spend our days wondering if we are seizing our days, well, in truth, we're racing up a Sisyphean hill indeed!

I look at my children.
I speak to my wife.
I squint when I look directly at the sun.

And I know I'm 'seizing' all the right things.

Hope you are feeling better.

. said...

I raed about that king in Greek - glad i gave that language up! Thanks for the well wishes - very stuffed up today...