I don’t know about you, but when my students start acting nutty, I like to start blaming people. First and most obvious, my students, for being totally bonkers and making my life miserable. Secondly, their parents, for not bringing their elves on the shelves to school to keep them in line. And finally, myself, for clearly not creating the boundaries they need to be successful. “If I had done this or that back in September, we wouldn’t be here right now!” I like to admonish.
All of this finger-pointing is to simply escape the discomfort of the reality of what the last week before winter break is. As Brene Brown says, ““blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain.”
So what might it look like to notice when we are on the Blame Train and slow down. Be aware of the difficulty of the moment without trying to judge it out of existence (hint: it won’t work). Take a breath and see what can be done, instead of what “should” have been done. It’s too late for that anyway.
(For the record, I actually am not so into the extrinsic motivation inspired by the Elf on a Shelf, and do not want one in my classroom, thank you.)