This Week, I Was the Teacher I Want to Be

I met my students where they are, and it was a magical experience.

Yesterday, a group of students went to the high school library with me to choose independent reading books.

(By the way, I have the coolest classroom ever, in my opinion, because when you go through my second door, you enter the library. It’s right there for me to use almost any time I choose.)

Heather M. Edick — “Coolest Classroom Ever”

Overheard during our search for the perfect book:

  • “I haven’t been in a library since sixth grade.”
  • “Oh my God, this is really weird.”
  • “Where’s the sports section?”
  • “Dude, what?”

Some questions students asked me (my responses are in italics):

  • “What are we supposed to pick?” Well, look for something that looks interesting to you. Here’s the fiction section. There’s the section for new books of all kinds. And a couple of stacks that way is the sports section.
  • “Can I read this one?” That’s a very thin book. In other words, no.
  • “How about this one?” Are you really interested in guinea pigs? Because if you are, go for it.
  • “What if I can’t find anything?” My friend, there are thousands of books in here. I have a feeling you will find something. Let’s take a tour.

There was laughter. We were building rapport. We knew each other a bit better after the experience. Everyone found a book. Yes, I had hoped they would pick more challenging books, but I believe their reading stamina and confidence will build over time. I am hopeful, especially after the positive experience we had in the library.

As the students checked out their books, the superintendent came up to me looking a bit sheepish. He “confessed” to having “cut through” my room to get back to his office, which is on the other side of the library. I laughed. I told him any time he wanted to come through was fine with me. He also said he was glad to see the kids using the library, and that he thought I probably had the best room in the school.

See? I’m not the only one who thinks that way about my classroom.

But Wait! There’s More!

We returned to the classroom. I could tell they were anxious about this assignment. There was a lot of chatter I wasn’t meant to hear. When I asked what was going on, the reasons for their anxiety came out in a stream.

  • “Miss, you don’t understand. I read on a sixth grade level.”
  • “I skip words, I skip lines. I can’t focus.”
  • “I’m a really slow reader. So, you know, like how the teacher will have you read aloud and go up and down the line of desks? Well, when I figure out what paragraph I’m supposed to read, I practice it in my head over and over so I’ll read it right and not make a fool of myself.”
  • “I just hate reading. I’m so slow. I don’t understand half of it.”
  • “Miss, when is this due?” October 13. “Oh, OK.”

Keeping all this incredible feedback in mind, I addressed what they said, after I thanked them for their candor. First, I told them that newspaper articles are written at a sixth-seventh grade level because many people actually read at that level. Then, I told them about my own issues with reading.

“Do any of you,” I asked, “Find yourself reading the same sentence or paragraph two or three times?”

Nods all around.

“Me too. I also skip words. I sometimes skip lines. If I hate what I’m reading, it’s quite possible I’ll start flipping pages and put the book down in disgust. I lose focus. It can be maddening. That’s why I wanted to start our adventure with you choosing a book that interests you.”

Perhaps it was my imagination, but it was like the anxiety was sucked out of the room.

I met the students where they were, and they recognized their teacher had been through the same journey upon which they were now embarking. It felt so good to reach out a metaphorical hand and feel them take it.

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to leave a comment; I love to read your thoughts.

“What Did I Miss?” — 3 Ways to Avoid Having to Answer That Question

Teachers, raise your hand if you dread students asking, “What did I miss?” after they were absent. Keep your hand up if you also dread them not asking.

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For all those who have answered the question, or a variant thereof, I offer you this poem from Tom Wayman

All kidding aside (well, I don’t know if he was kidding or not), helping students is our first priority. However, when you have many students, the interruption caused by having to answer this question can be frustrating.

I am fortunate: most of my students now ask in an email. I do have students who rush to me at the beginning of class, though, or ask in the middle of class, or rush to me at the end of class.

I’m on a mission to banish that question from my classroom.

Idea One: Tell Them They Are Excused from the Assignment

Recently, I was a guest on David Frangiosa’s podcast. We discussed attendance and its impact on the grade a student receives. David gave me excellent advice on how to deal with attendance issues. If your classroom is skills-based, the student will encounter the skill again. Being absent a day or two should not result in the student having to do make-up work. If they are now behind in all their classes, why pile on more work?

I agree. I am working toward “going gradeless,” so this year my classes are skills-based. I will remain consistent about which skills we are working on each day. Students can refer to the lesson plans in the LMS, find out which skill we worked on, and access resources related to that skill. Additionally, they do not need to make up classwork. They will have to complete assessments if they missed an assessment that day, and turn in projects as soon as they return.

Idea Two: Keep a Class Notebook in Which Students Record Notes

This is something I came up with yesterday. I’m going to start a Google Doc and share it with students. Each day, I will choose a name from my craft-sticks stack. That person will be the “scribe of the day,” but everyone is invited to add notes to the Google Doc. I’m going to use the Cornell Notes method in this document too.

I first learned of the Cornell Notes method in 1989 during my freshman year of high school. Dr. Kreider insisted we take notes this way, and I am grateful for that. I have used this method since then.

Above is an example of a template I will add to the Google Doc. I will copy and paste the table to a new page each day. If students prefer to take notes on paper, I will ask them to take a photo of their notes and add the image(s) to the notes doc. This way, there is a record of what we did each day to which the students can refer. I will also celebrate good insights and address misconceptions based on what I find in the document, using it as an exit slip.

I think it’s going to be a great addition to my practice.

Idea Three: Publish the Lessons

Yesterday, I found a lesson planning site called Chalk. Chalk has a cool feature: the ability to publish lesson plans to Google Classroom or Schoology. You know I upgraded for that reason, right?

I look forward to planning in Chalk and pushing those plans to the LMS. My mission this year is to be unambiguous, address the big question “Why do I have to learn this?”, and develop a team atmosphere. Eliminating the redundancy of planning in one place and posting those plans manually in another will save a lot of time.

Do You Have Other Ideas?

I would love to read your comments and respond. Thank you for reading this post.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

The Remnants of Hurricane Ida and Reopening School

This is an appeal to anyone who reads this article to consider donating to or volunteering to help people affected by Hurricane Ida, in addition to a reflection on how the hurricane will affect my learning community.


PBS News Hour’s Guidance on Giving

In the article below, you can find legitimate organizations to donate to and legitimate organizations seeking volunteers to help with the relief efforts.

I am also saying the “Mi Shebeirach” prayer for all those affected. One part of the prayer is “Bless those in need of healing, with r’fuah sh’leimah — the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit, and let us say, Amen.” It is a beautiful prayer in its entirety, and those lines speak to the needs of those affected perfectly.

If you would like to listen to the prayer, here is a YouTube video.

Tomorrow, We Welcome Students Back to School

Teachers returned to school on Monday. Our Superintendent spoke about the torrential rain to come on Wednesday and Thursday. We could get three to six inches of rain between now and then.

Pocono Mountains residents are used to inclement weather in the form of snow and ice. I am not sure how prepared we are for torrential rain. I’m not sure how prepared the land is for it either.

The Superintendent wondered aloud how it will affect the first day for students. He then requested a moment of silence for those affected by climate crises, the situation in Haiti, and the situation in Afghanistan. I said the “Mi Shebeirach” in my head.

At this time, I cannot imagine what will happen. What I know is that flash flood watches are in effect for the region. Yes, we have had those before, but with the amount of rain predicted, it might be worse than in the past.

I am frightened. I’ll admit it. We have experienced several severe weather events in this region over the summer, causing me to wonder how our preparedness activities will change. Between the weather and COVID, I am ready to find remote work. I’m just being honest.

As I type this, I keep thinking about those on the west coast of the U.S., suffering from drought and wild fires. I wish there were a way to gather the rain water and send it to them to help them. We have pipelines for oil, so why not water? Perhaps I will save that reflection for another post.

Update on 9/1

Our Superintendent decided to push the first day of school to 9/7 due to the weather. I am grateful. Everyone is safer that way. We have experienced flooding, which closed roads in Allentown, which is about 20 miles from us, but the Lehigh River crested at 13.5 feet (the flood stage is 10 feet), so we have experienced flooding where we are.

Best Wishes to Everyone

I want to take a moment to wish everyone well. There are so many transitions happening now, in learning communities and in communities in general. May you all be safe. If you need a “Mi Sheiberach,” let me know.

Have a great day. Thank you for reading this post.

Private Chat: A Gift to Students

One tool we can use this year to help students reluctant to verbalize contributions in class is the private chat feature of most conferencing software.

(Day 29 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Fellow teachers told me that the private chat feature of conferencing software helped students who would not normally contribute to class discussions. All students had to do was send a private message to the teacher during class, and the teacher would provide feedback privately in return. This process eliminated the fear of being wrong in front of their classmates, who may or may not be supportive.

This development was unanticipated, and teachers were thrilled! We all want students to be comfortable. A safe environment for learning makes deeper learning possible.

Essentially, students felt more comfortable sharing solely with the teacher, so they participated more. Over the course of the year, their participation increased. With encouragement from the teacher, some students even started verbalizing on occasion.

Practice helps build confidence. Practicing in a low-risk environment supports building self-confidence.

Teachers could easily gauge the student’s progress with a concept or skill too. This made the formative assessment process much easier. The chat also helped teachers get to know these students better than ever.

Let’s Keep the Private Chat

Launch a Conference

I suggest keeping the private chat. If your conferencing software supports it, launch a conference during class. Invite your students to join it.

There is another benefit to launching the conference: You can share material that you are also sharing via a projector or Apple TV, ensuring that all students can view the material clearly. Last year, I had everyone in class (in-person and online) join the conference. Then, everyone could view the materials clearly.

Backchannel Chat

Another way to implement private chat is to use software called “Backchannel Chat.” My LMS allows us to install it as an app, but it is buggy. That doesn’t matter, though, because you can share a link with your students.

“Backchannel Chat” now supports private messages from student to teacher. After you share the room code with your students, demonstrate how to send a private message.

Note: “Backchannel Chat” was built for use in schools. There are other chat tools out there, but I would not recommend them if they are not intended for use in schools.

If you have other suggestions for helping students participate in class, please leave a comment. I can’t wait to read and respond to them.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-ninth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge. One day to go!

Getting Ready for Virtual Meet the Teacher Night

For the second year, teachers will meet and greet families in a web conference. I hope the event is an overwhelming success.

(Day 28 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Remembering “Meet the Teacher Night” When I Was in High School

“Meet the Teacher” Night may be an important event in your district, or it may be a long, lonely night. When I was in high school, it was the former. Families roamed the halls, anxious to meet their child’s teachers and friends. The teachers were enthusiastic and prepared to share information and answer questions.

I went to a rigorous college-preparatory high school in Philadelphia. Families and students were determined to ensure the student would go on to college, and 99% of graduates did.

Teachers were valued; their knowledge and skills were respected. Several teachers were PhDs or in a PhD program. Every teacher had a Master’s degree. They could not teach there without one, since the waiting list was long and competition fierce.

In short, it was a celebratory atmosphere. Families and students were hopeful. Teachers were excited. There was a common goal, namely student success.

There were exceptions, of course. Some teachers and families were not as excited as the rest of us. We are all human, after all.

How Things Have Changed

For reasons which escape my understanding at 5:36 AM on a Saturday, teachers no longer command the same level of respect as my teachers. In this current environment, it’s almost an adversarial relationship. Even when my son was in secondary school (he graduated in 2019), the interaction between families and teachers was much more respectful than I am reading about in 2021.

The districts emphasize the partnership between school and families, but teachers often find that collaboration with parents is the exception to the “rule.” Instead of strategizing ways to help the student improve, families blame the teacher, for example. Teachers experience pushback on behavior management and discipline issues, along with academic concerns. Sometimes, calling a parent has become a nightmare for some teachers. Others make the call and receive no response.

It’s no surprise then that “Meet the Teacher” Night is a long, lonely night for those teachers. When combined with the controversies about masks, vaccines, and social distancing, I understand why districts would decide to make the event a virtual one.

I have a feeling many teachers hope no one shows up, so the adversarial relationship does not play out in such a public way. In general, people are bolder online. Physical proximity tempers the negative attitude. People are less inclined to speak without a filter when in the same room.

Still, There Are Reasons to Be Hopeful

  • There are families who are adversarial, but many more who are appreciative and collaborative.
  • After a terrible school year, many families are hoping to strategize with teachers to help the students.
  • We teachers are brainstorming, collaborating, and developing curricula to mitigate the issues brought on by learning interruptions last year.
  • Many of us believe in working together.
  • Many of us appreciate each other.
  • Many of us are coming from a place of love and commitment to the students.
  • Many of us are ready to address those who aren’t respectful, noncombative manner.
  • Many of us are hopeful.

So, let’s start this school year with a terrific “Meet the Teacher” Night, whether in person or, as in my case, virtual.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-eighth post of my 30-Day Writing Challenge. I am so grateful.

Reasons to be Excited to Return to School

Each day, we contemplate the concerns related to school reopening. We have to; they are critical. For a moment, though, we can explore reasons to be excited.

(Day 27 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

There are many science teachers out there who can’t wait to get back in the lab with students again. I love this picture because the teacher and students are together.

The Same Physical Location

Many of us will return to the building this school year. The most exciting aspect of returning to the building is, for me, hearing other people: their footsteps and voices in the hallway, the murmurs among groups as they work on an assignment, discussion during class, and any other sounds that indicate a community is present.

There’s also the value of seeing others. We have the chance to evaluate body language again, for example. It’s a tool I had to sadly relegate to my toolbox last year, since it was hard to gauge a student’s interest and confidence in a web conference.

Using Paper and Pencil Again

During summer school, my students told me they were thrilled to have an actual workbook, on paper, on which they could write with a real pencil. We reduced screen time, and everyone benefited from that. Eye strain is real, right?

I saved a lot of copy paper last year. I can’t wait to use it. I can’t wait to see students using multi-colored pens, highlighters, and sticky notes to annotate passages and poems. I can’t wait to see notebooks and binders in use again.

Distributing Books

We will work with actual books this year instead of sourcing material from Project Gutenberg, Folger Shakespeare Library, and others. How exciting! I believe my students will be excited too. Many of them prefer reading books in print instead of on the screen.

Group Work Makes a Comeback

Breakout rooms are fine, but there is nothing better than asking students to get into their groups. Everyone gets the chance to stand up and move to a new place, for one thing. They can all see each other. If they get stuck, I will be there when they call for me. I can manage by walking around, instead of popping into a breakout room. I can review what they are working on in real time.

If I never see a Jamboard again in my life, I might just be the happiest person on the planet.

More Opportunities for One-on-One Discussion

I envision impromptu one-on-one discussions and scheduled conferences being more robust than last year. Again, the physical proximity and less technological interference will help bridge the communication divide.

These are a few reasons to be excited about returning to school. What are your reasons? I would love to read them.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-seventh post of my 30-Day Writing Challenge.

Day 26 of a 30-Day Writing Challenge

Today’s post represents taking a break from the usual topics to reflect on this process.

Photo by Keegan Houser from Pexels

I thought about post ideas for half an hour before deciding to write a reflection post. This post isn’t an admission of defeat, although it seemed like it when I started writing it. Instead, it’s a recognition of our interdependence, for the posts often reveal connections to issues important to more than myself.

For Example, Mental Health

Not only did I write many posts about education, but I also took a risk and wrote about mental health challenges in a personal way. So many of us face similar challenges, which breaks my heart.

Several times, what I wrote in my journal ended up in a post, because I have committed to living a better life of service to others. Writing is one way to be of service. By writing and publishing, I hope to help others.

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None of them were easy to write, because my inner negative self-talk would get in the way. These bits of wisdom (note the sarcasm) should be familiar. My new responses are in parentheses.

  • You know, no one cares what you think. (Someone might, therefore I write.)
  • Stop looking for pity. (I’m not. I hope to help others.)
  • So, you’re announcing to the world that you are “damaged goods”? Is that a good idea? (I know where the notion of “damaged goods” came from, and I reject the notion utterly, so stop.)

Pushing back against these bits of wisdom, questioning their purpose and validity, has helped me continue.

And Fears about Returning to School

The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine a few days ago, which is great, but there are many people 12 years old and older returning to school unvaccinated. The Delta variant is running rampant, and people are unprotected. Thousands of school children and hundreds of staff have already gone into quarantine.

Meanwhile, the debate about masks is absurd. Parents and community members attend board meetings during which they hurl insults at administrators and board members. Here is one story about this problem from my own state, Pennsylvania.

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There are many more. Attendees have become violent. They have been expelled from board meetings because of foul language and threats to administrators and board members. Like I said, it’s absurd.

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Other issues concerning school reopening center on this notion of learning “gaps.” I’m worried, because I envision even more pressure on students already reeling from the school year from hell.

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We need to redefine education — its purpose and how we should educate our children. I fear everyone wants to return to “normal.” We shouldn’t. Instead, let’s blaze a new path.

We need to assess our understanding of learning. We need to redesign methods by which students demonstrate their learning. The old methods haven’t worked for a long time. Now is the perfect time to try something new.

These Posts Have a Common Theme: Rebirth

Emerging from the pandemic will be difficult. We should consider this moment one of rebirth, using the lessons learned to make real, sustainable progress.

Over the past 25 days, I have been reimagining my practice and life. I want to emerge from this pandemic fired up for teaching and life, with new confidence. I want to be of service to others.

So yes, I have real concerns. I also have hope. I thank you for coming on the journey with me.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-sixth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge.

These Six Self Statements Can Be Explicitly Taught

In the ELA classroom, we can teach self-discipline, self-respect, self-control, self-confidence, self-defense, and self-awareness, using literature from around the world.

(Day 25 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

My son and I attended Hoover Karate Academy in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, until a few years ago. I stopped going due to injury; he stopped because he went off to college. We will always be loyal to HKA, however. One reason: its devotion to doing more than teaching martial arts.

If you visit their “Our Beliefs” page, you will notice something called the “six selfs.” Sensei Hoover and his staff brilliantly weave these beliefs into everyday training and their curriculum. One doesn’t even realize it until a sensei points out something you did that either adheres to the belief or doesn’t. “Good display of self-control!” is a prime example.

All these “selfs” statements are important for young people to learn. They don’t need to go to a dojo to learn them, though. They can pick up a good book, read a great poem, or watch an important video. To follow are my suggestions of titles for each of the statements.


How many times have you wished a young person would figure out that doing things they have to do before what they want is an important adult character trait?

I thought this one would be easy, but it isn’t. There are plenty of titles for elementary kids. For teenagers, the books available are self-help books. They aren’t what I’m looking for.

Here is one idea: bring fables back into the secondary classroom. For example, Aesop’s fable “The Ants and the Grasshopper.” Pair it with Rudyard Kipling’s “If — .” To teach students about what happens when you abandon your obligations, try King Lear.

For a humorous moment, consider Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry.


There are so many books that teach self-respect. For example, in the novel The Color Purple, Celie learns to respect herself and her abilities after years of abuse from almost everyone, except her sister Nettie. At a pivotal moment in the book, Celie tells the men in her life she is done with them and leaves with her friend Avery to give herself a better life. She starts her own business, and only returns after she has recovered from a lifetime of abuse.

In Jane Eyre, Jane has always respected herself. Most of the time, it leads to trouble, as she is seen as willful, arrogant, etc. When she rejects Rochester and strikes out on her own, she demonstrates self-respect admirably. When she returns to Rochester, it is on her terms.

In Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we encounter the grandfather. He couldn’t care less what his son thinks of him. He lives his life the way he wants to live it. Aunty Ifeoma is also an example of someone who has self-respect. She doesn’t bow to her brother, and she has healthy relationships with her other family members.

I would also recommend one scene from Good Will Hunting in which Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) chastises Will Hunting (Matt Damon) for daring to criticize the way he lives his life. To Will, he reveals why he does what he does and he doesn’t care what Will thinks. Unfortunately, the language isn’t ideal, but perhaps in an upper level course it could work.


Self-control is closely related to self-discipline, and “If — ” is probably a good poem to use here too. I also recommend the novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for this category. In this novel, Eugene, the father, is the epitome of self-control to outsiders. Within his family, however, it is different. He loses “it” with his wife, son, and daughter on many occasions when they behave in ways he finds unacceptable. His abuse is extreme.

To balance things out with a little humor, you might try the William Carlos Williams’ poem “This is Just to Say.”


Self-confidence, that knowledge of one’s abilities and belief in oneself to be successful. It also means having the courage of one’s convictions. For this one, I recommend reading anything by and/or about Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Ghandi.

Self-Defense and Self-Awareness

Some people take martial arts to learn how to fight for all the wrong reasons. They want to throw the first punch, be aggressive. Martial arts training prepares you for that moment you hope never comes. While you train, you build self-confidence, learn to respect yourself, become more disciplined and controlled. As you train, you realize you don’t have to throw the first punch at all. Exude the first five “selfs,” and self-awareness also develops. People will treat you well if they don’t mark you as a target.

In my opinion, you could look at any work of literature and examine it for evidence of a character’s self-defense and self-awareness strengths or challenges. Is the character aggressive? Does the character recognize his or her role in society? In a bildungsroman, for example, how do the “selfs” develop so the character grows?

One example of a bildungsroman is The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. One of my students read it last year and was transfixed by its themes and story. He emerged from reading it with questions he asked himself the rest of the year. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-fifth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge. Should you have suggestions for other works that address the “six selfs,” I would love to read about them.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Who Is the Real Antagonist in Your Story?

You might be surprised to find out it’s you, just like I did.

(Day 24 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

One of my colleagues from years ago said to me, “Heather, it’s like you have this cloud over you, constantly keeping you feeling gloomy.” He was onto something, but there was (is) more to it than that. Not only did I keep a cloud over me, but my feelings about myself were evident physically: a perpetual frown occasionally interrupted with a laugh; hunched shoulders; head down as I walked; and what others perceived as disinterest in what was going on in the world.

That last observation should be explained. It wasn’t that I was disinterested. I was terrified of attempting to be part of the world for fear of rejection.

My feelings about myself were evident in my words too. I hedged on every statement I could make about my progress. For example, “Now, I don’t know if this will stick, but…” or “Next time, it might be a complete disaster.” I expressed my lack of confidence often; to do otherwise risked jinxing myself, leading me to fail. If I wasn’t overly confident, I told myself, I would be more prepared. Besides, what right did I have to be confident anyway?

So, the cloud hovered most of the time, and my feelings did too. If that weren’t tough enough, when the sun hit me, my shadow was revealed. I did as much as possible to avoid acknowledging it and wishing the cloud would reappear so it would go away.

Until recently, I didn’t understand why the shadow bothered me. Now, I do.

The Shadow Is the Conscious Manifestation of the Real Antagonist in My Story

According to Jung and my friend Mary Beth, the shadow is that dark part of the self that thrives in negativity, chaos, disequilibrium, and unhappiness, among other things. When you explore that part of the self, you find all the crap you have struggled to suppress: unmet expectations, failures, others you have wronged, shortcomings, unfulfilled desires, etc. That’s why people try to suppress it.

I am writing today to let you know that your shadow is the real antagonist in your story, just as it is in mine. Since your shadow is part of you, the real antagonist is you, just as my antagonist is me. Your shadow assumes the mask of all the outside forces you think are working against you to perpetuate the myth that anyone or anything is working against you: people, places, things, emotions, failures, mistakes…add whatever you like to that list.

I have decided to call the shadow my inner b*tch. Pardon the foul language, please. Right now, as I type this, ib is telling me no one cares about what I have to say. Perhaps it is right, but I’m going to say it anyway. Why? Because I have decided my life needs to be about service to others, and the only way I can be of services to others is to be of service to others. Writing is one way I do that.

I could be angry at ib, but that’s what it wants. It craves the negativity. It “rolls the tape,” as I call it, so that I am in a perpetual state of panic and depression and want to isolate myself. It reminds me of the mistakes I have made. It brings “people” from my past back into my consciousness through scenarios during which I strive to “fight” those I have been afraid of. In the end, I either fail, become furious, or descend into depression.

The ib is me. This entire time, I have been battling myself. Being mad at myself is worthless. Instead, I have decided to be kind to myself and not hold grudges against myself. Instead, I’m finally using my historian skills to consciously evaluate what I have made happen. With that knowledge, I am changing from someone who says, “If only I had…” to “From now on…”

You might think I want to “banish” ib. Nope. Instead, when it starts, I have responded by initiating a conversation in which I question the usefulness of being negative and staying in the past, instead of using my past to inform a better future. To do otherwise is to express anger or fear. I will be neither angry nor fearful. It’s also helped me stop ib from donning the mask-of-the-day.

I am taking a risk putting this post out there. I know that. In the past, it would have remained a draft until I summoned the courage to publish it. Today it will be published as soon as I finish it. Whatever happens, I will deal with it. I hope I have been of service to someone else.

Ways I Am Coping with the Shadow

  1. I have acknowledged that part of myself, and I am exploring it for historical treasure.
  2. I focus on “from now on” instead of “if only I had,” using the historical treasure trove to finish each “from now on” statement.
  3. I do not express myself angrily or fearfully, but with kindness and confidence.
  4. I question the real reason the tape has started to roll instead of letting it roll unfettered. This helps me to research its origins. Then, I can focus on item 2.
  5. I write.
  6. I have goals I am committed to achieving.

I welcome your thoughts on this, my twenty-fourth post in my 30-Day Writing Challenge. Thank you.

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