Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Assuming Positive Intentions

Over the years I have worked with many superstars. Our school has had, and has right now, many absolutely amazing teachers. Not everyone is lucky enough to know these amazing teachers. One of them, however, has truly broken out into superstardom and has become quite well known.

Last night a bunch of us went to her first book signing of the tour. 

There you see Glennon Doyle Melton surrounded by people who taught with her at our school. Some of us are still here, others have moved on to other schools or to stay at home with children. It was like a reunion. The whole evening, waiting in line for 2 1/2 hours, seeing Glennon, being with these amazing, brilliant educators, was an awesome experience. I don't use that word lightly. It was awesome.

(By the way, the lady just to her right in the picture co-authored a book with her years ago. It's a fabulous book as well.)

Glennon did not get a chance to talk to the entire group for long, nor did she have much time to speak to us individually. There was quite a long line and she was signing books until midnight. 

No matter how brief her remarks, I was struck by one sentence. She talked about all she has learned in the last few years. These were all things she has written about before. But, for some reason, one stuck with me. She said that she has learned that everyone is trying their best. 

That bears repeating. Everyone is trying their best.

I've thought a lot about assuming positive intentions, but I am not good at it. I'm especially bad when it comes to other drivers. But it seems to be something I struggle to remember. 

Somehow, Glennon's wording makes so much sense to me. Everyone is trying their best. My little first graders are trying their best. Their parents are trying their best. My coworkers are trying their best. Those other drivers are trying their best. Everyone is trying their best. 

I will continue to try my best to remember that.

On a related note, I have an extra copy of Glennon's book. It's not signed, sadly. However, I have been trying to figure out since last night what to do with it. I thought about giving it to my mom, but I think I should get her the kindle version instead. I thought about sending it to my sister, but she may have already bought it. I decided, instead, to pass it on here. If you are interested (and didn't give up on this post far above), leave me a comment. I'll pick a random number and send that person this fabulous book. (I'll pick a number this Saturday, April 13th, so that I can get the necessary information and mail the book out on Monday!)


Peggy Smith said...

Love your thoughts ,Jennifer,as usual.Our Unitarian Universalist church here in Lewes, Delaware has a Covenantof Good Relations. My favorite part focuses on assuming good intentions. Often people are quick to critcize or even attack. Assuming good intentions helps me step back and look at things from a different perspective.

Holly Evans said...

I may have to steal your copy for a short while so that someone else can have the real thing! I'll look for you tomorrow to talk about this!!

Catherine Long said...

I'll put my bid in for the copy, I've never read it! Pretty sure I remember Ms. Doyle coming to ATES... Glad to see pics and read your thoughts :)

Blink said...

Jennifer, I don't want to put my name in the hat for your book... just want to say, I love your topic today (and that you are giving away a book!)

This thought is a great mantra (assume positive intentions). It has given me perspective and peace many a time.

colleen said...

I just heard about this book a couple days ago and would love to win a copy!

Laura Blankenship said...

I don't need a book. I just love the saying, "everyone is trying their best." I live by that most of the time, and I feel so much better for it. Also, "don't take things personally" has worked for me.

Looks like a great event and a good book!

Emalee Owens said...

I'd love to be the random comment that gets picked!

organized chaos said...

This is something my principal is always telling us. He is constantly reminding us to assume positive attentions with each other and with parents. I love the message. (I have my own copy so I don't need one!)

Jenny said...

I have sent this book on to Catherine (very exciting for me because she's a former student of mine!).

If you are still interested in this book and don't have it, email me. We'll figure something out!