MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 28
It's the day before Break and everyone has Spring fever, but Mr. Thomas is still making us work. I decide to just ignore him.
"That's not fair!" I say to him, "I was there."
"Azure," he says. "You were physically in this room, but 'presence is more than just being there.' Just sitting there is not really being a contributing member of this class."
I see my older sister at lunch and complain about how unfair Mr. Thomas is. When she doesn't respond, I get really frustrated: "Ehana, are you listening to me?"
"Azure, I'm right here. Of course, I heard you-something about detention, right?" she responds.
"Ehana, don't pretend you're listening if you're really not. You know, 'presence is more than just being there.' You're supposed to actually care!" I say angrily.
Then I realize what I said and that Mr. Thomas is right. Whether it's school or a talk with my sister, there's more to being a part of things than being physically around. "Presence is more than just being there."
After lunch, I apologize to Mr. Thomas. He deserves better than how I treated him. He deserves my respect and active participation-he deserves my presence. And, as I now know, "Presence is more than just being there."
This week's maxim is "Presence is more than just being there."
- "Presence is more than just being there."
Malcolm S. Forbes
- Dedication - I put in the effort and energy to do my best.
- Motivation - I am determined; I put forth my best effort.
- Perseverance - I focus on my goals and keep trying to reach it.
- Responsibility - I know what I should do and I act upon that knowledge.
- Respect - I acknowledge the dignity of the people around me and value their concerns.
Homeroom Discussion Information
- What do you think of what Mr. Thomas did? Was it fair?
- What do you think of the way the class acted?
- Do you think a lot of students feel the way Azure does at the beginning of the story? Are most students tempted to "throw in the towel" before the year is over?
- Azure and her classmates decide not to participate in class. What are some other ways that students "check out" early?
- Why is checking out early a bad idea?
- What are the benefits of following through to the end and continuing to take an active role in school?
- How can learning dedication and perseverance as a student help you later in other areas of your life? How might they be helpful to you as an adult?
- Do you think your teachers should slow down the pace because most people feel Spring fever and are tired before break? What problems might that create?
- List some strategies for getting past the temptation to "zone out" at the end of the year.
Five tips for maxim-izing your family time
- Practice active listening. Model what it means to respectfully listen and be attentive.
- Talk about the idea of distractions. What sorts of things make it difficult for you to focus? How do you overcome distractions?
- Do some strategizing. Work together with your child to develop techniques for dealing with the lure of things that seem easier or more fun than the task at hand.
- Get some feedback. Find out how good of a listener you really are. Take this opportunity to gain some constructive opinions from your child.
- Find ways to make self-discipline fun. Write a list of obligations and come up with fun activities to reward yourself once the work is done. Talk about why this strategy is helpful and how it can be incorporated into other challenges in life.
- Think of a time that you wanted to give up and take the easy way out, but didn't. How did you feel after that experience?
- Think of a time that you did give up. How did that make you feel?
- It is often said that we value the things that we have to work for. Do you think that's true? Why or why not?
- List reasons why many kids mentally "check out" of school before the end. Do any these seem reasonable? In what way?
- Azure gets upset because she feels like her sister isn't really listening to her. What do you think it means to really listen to another person?
- Who, in this family, is an example of a good listener? Why?
- What can we do to work on being better listeners and becoming more "present" to one another?
- What should you do if someone is not being very "present" to you?
- How important is it that the people around you, especially family and friends, actively listen and are present to you?
Be sure to acknowledge the courage your children show in talking with you about these issues.
- Signs of Spring--Lessons to Welcome a New Season
- Biology: Spring Fever Lesson Plan
- Education World: Springtime Online
- Active Listening in the Classroom
- Developing Discussion Skills
Get Email Updates
Subscribe to receive periodic updates from ERC. Join our email list.
ERC President Pat Harned launches new blog; she welcomes discussion on ethics issues facing American workers and executives. Check out the blog!
Connect with ERC
ERC's Benchmarking Services
ERC's team can help you design and administer an ethics survey to fit your organization.