It's Day 31 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers. I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.
It's the last day of the SOLSC, and once again, it's been a joyful experience. There is, of course, a sense of sadness but a little relief. My students are saying the same thing - they're happy it's over in a way, but will be sad to lose the comraderie of the SOL community. The feedback and encouragement other writers provide each other will go back to being sporadic, not daily. These feelings are a testimony to the power of writing. It is a deeply personal, but largely communal, experience. So powerful! Thank you so much, Two Writing Teachers, for providing this forum for us and our students!
This brings me to my last What I Know For Sure post. I'm participating in my staff book club, and we are reading Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education. I love the concept of "deliberate optimism," not only in education, but in life. I know I fall short of seeing things optimistically at times, but for the most part, optimism is a key factor in my life.
Several years back, I took a Spiritual Gifts course at my church; I loved it so much I now teach it about once a year. I learned that my top spiritual gift is faith. I believe faith and optimism go hand in hand. I'm not sure who first said the quote, "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." I wholeheartedly believe this, mostly because I also believe this life is not the end either.
Deliberate optimism frees you up to take risks, make mistakes, and pursue goals and dreams. It's what makes life full and exciting. It helps us focus on what is important and worth paying attention to. It can make it possible to offer people and God our best. Deliberate optimism helps us believe in our students, our children, our friends, and our spouses. It makes it possible to believe that there is more good in the world than bad. It makes life worth living.
Part of the reason I love this SOL community and challenge so much is that I see deliberate optimism in all of you. Writing is a form of faith and optimism, isn't it?! You bare your soul, you take chances, you hope to connect, and you trust that someone will read what you wrote and laugh, cry, be inspired, or maybe not feel so alone. Thank you to you all - here at the SOLSC and to all those kids out there who took the classroom challenge. You are all optimists, dreamers, creators...writers.
What I Know For Sure: Deliberate optimism is a form of faith. To be optimistic, you are daring greatly, you are standing in the arena, and choosing to live fully.