Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Be Sure to Play in Traffic

All of our mothers at some point warned us about playing in traffic. They wanted us safe and secure and sought to protect us from the dangers that were lurking on a highway.

More recently, this "go play in traffic" phrase has been used to tell someone off or to get rid of them. A negative connotation has been built for this phrase.

As for me, I have made it an intentional point to play in traffic this year, and I hope other teachers have too.

When I get busy as an educator (which seems like it is just about all the time), I tend to remove myself from the bustle of school life in order to complete tasks. In other words, the temptation for me is to move away from the traffic in the building in order to think and work.

Work and reflection time is important, but so is playing in the traffic of school life. Hanging out in the faculty work room often leads to impromptu conversations about learning and life. Sometimes this is an opportunity to listen to the challenges of a colleague or to pray for them. Intentionally being a presence in the school halls opens provides chances for relationship-building conversations with students, or simply enjoying the fact that they are in our school.

Participating in traffic builds relationships, learning, empathy, and understanding. I still have the tendency to want to remove myself from the traffic of the school building, but being intentional about playing in traffic is very rewarding and an important part of a welcoming school culture for students and for our colleagues.

So go play in traffic today!

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