*Three Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)
As we approach the end of the school year, my kids and I have spent a lot of time discussing pros and cons of learning from home.
It’s been interesting watching how they’ve each approached their work. My daughter, Emily (14 years old and finishing 8th grade) attempts to create a schedule for the entire week and wants to run through the schedule with me every morning of what she needs to accomplish.
Her brothers (Will is 16 and finishing his sophomore year and Charlie is 11 wrapping up 5th grade) do work as they feel motivated having confidence everything will be completed in time.
When I asked about specific things they might be missing or gaining from school being at home, Emily mentioned she’s relieved she no longer has to worry about other students cheating off of her tests. She continued saying there were two boys who routinely tried to copy her tests in one class much of the school year.
When she first realized others were trying to copy her tests, she tried maneuvering in her chair, covering her paper with her arm to block her answers, but (understandably) it was frustrating and she felt awkward. She then asked the teacher for help and although they were kind and helpful in their response, ultimately they were unable to do much and it continued happening.
After detailing the many ways she tried to stop the two from cheating, she finally came up with her own plan to take control of the situation.
Emily ensured she knew the material well enough to initially write the wrong answers on the test. Then, with just enough time to spare before the class period ended and she had to hand in her test, she erased all the wrong answers and put the correct answers in their place.
The cheaters copying her answers got the wrong answers and ultimately did not fare well on the exam. She, however, aced it!
As soon as she finished her story, her brothers and I burst out laughing and congratulated her on a well thought out and executed plan.
It was brilliant! She had asked for help. Tried everything she could think of to stop the two from cheating with no avail. Until finally she decided to take the bull by the horns and fix the problem herself.
Emily likes order and organization. She’s a planner and likes to have a sense of control over her environment. (The apple does not fall far from the tree.)
This situation created a lot of anxiety and distress for her. At times she felt helpless and unable to change what was happening. Until she looked at the areas where she in fact did have control and determined how best to utilize them for her desired end result.
While I think my daughter is pretty awesome for concocting and executing this plan, I also think it’s a great lesson for many of us. If we can examine the areas in our own lives we can control, it can help us create our desired outcome.
Emily couldn’t control the other students or her teacher’s response. But she could control the information she wrote on her paper and it allowed her to take control of a situation that had previously caused her discomfort.
With the pandemic, lots of things in our lives right now are out of our control. In some ways we have more rules than ever before. For a planner like me, in ways that is comforting, but it can also at times make me feel like a victim in my own life.
Identifying areas where I have the control and can make changes to reach my desired outcomes is empowering. And an opportunity for me to take my own bull by the horns steering my life in the direction I want to go.
I have my daughter, Emily, to thank for this important reminder!
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.