Fresh Starts

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Maria Robinson

I shared this quote with my sixth grade study skills class yesterday.  We talked about the times we wish we could have a “do over” after we make mistakes in our lives whether by our actions or our inactions.  But life is not like a four square game in which we simply call a “do over” and we get to try again.  Instead, we have a choice to make.  Will we ignore our mistake or wallow in guilt?  Or will we choose to take action and make something positive from our mistakes? 

The new year gives us a reason to create a new ending and a time to make new choices about our decisions and directions.  Sometimes our choices have to do with behaviors and other times it is about making different choices in our thinking.  During study skills, students took 30 minutes to organize bookbags, notebooks, lockers, and tablets depending on the choice they made.  Others contemplated ways with me to change negative thinking that increased stress. 

Thirty minutes later, sixth graders reported that they felt a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.  They were pleased with the ability to “start today and create a new ending.”  I am glad that they gained something from the lesson.  I certainly learned from them.  It sometimes takes so little to bring about renewal.  A little time and a little focus on what is positive.

3 thoughts on “Fresh Starts

  1. Anna Glaser

    I love this post Maryellen. It is important to remember not to wallow in mistakes we have made, but to learn something positive from them and be able to move on without guilt. What a great lesson to teach your students.

  2. Jennifer Fisher

    I also really appreciate this post. I think the fact that you let your students choose their activity is a great follow-up to Alfie Kohn. Giving them the freedom to choose lets them feel like they’re in control of thier own learning.

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