Thursday, March 24, 2022


 The yogi who leads my morning exercise and meditation session imparted three rules:

Always be kind

Never speak ill of others

Never speak ill of yourself

These precepts have been in the back of mind for a couple weeks, and the other day, when my homeroom kids were bickering irritably in the early morning, I stepped to my chalkboard and wrote the three of them boldly, white on black.

"These are rules I have for myself," I told them, "and I'm writing them here because I hope you will help me follow them."

I read each out loud and explained what it meant.

"Can you help me?" I asked. "Will you let me know if I'm forgetting one of them?"

They nodded. 

"Should we follow them, too?" asked someone.

"I wish you would!" I answered. "Especially when you're in here. Maybe we can remind each other."

It was only a few hours later that I saw that same student smack one of his peers on the back of the neck during the change of classes. I motioned him over to where I stood in the hallway. "Why did you do that?"

"He did it to me first," he said.

"But it's against the first rule," I pointed out. 

"I think it's going to be really hard to follow them when other people are mean," he replied thoughtfully.

"I know!" I told him. "I'm going to keep trying, though! Are you?"

He waggled his head from shoulder to shoulder in indecision. "I will," he said finally.

"I'm so glad!" I replied. "And if you figure out any tricks, make sure you tell me!"


  1. I love how your students are helping you (and themselves) follow these important rules!

  2. I'll be putting these rules on my wall. I love the way you ask, "Will you help me follow them?"

  3. I hope this student has success. You are a great model to him and the others.