Life is Great . . . Even When It Sucks

Life is Great Even When it Sucks
Life is Great Even When It Sucks by Ellen Nyland

It’s hard to have a positive attitude when things are going poorly for you. But if you take a moment, it is hard to argue that Life is Good . . . Even When it Sucks.

I am always amazed at how books that are not written for teachers, can have a lot to say about education and help us improve our practice.

That being said, we can all work on personal development and learn from the teachings that Ellen Nyland shares in this book.

Gain Perspective

“The challenge in teaching anyone is that we tend to teach from our own perspective. We don’t consider the person we are teaching. We teach others from our toolbox, our view on life, our circumstances, our failures, and our personal fears instead of modifying our teaching to the toolbox of the individuals we are teaching.”

Nyland suggests that failing to take into account other people’s perspectives might be the cause of all of the trouble in the world. Very interesting theory.

Teach Listening Skills

She goes on to say that we rarely teach our children the art of listening. I wholeheartedly agree. Teaching the art of listening and conflict resolution is just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Understand People’s Levels of Readiness

I like the Feedback Checklist that the author shares with us. We can use it to see if someone is in the right place to hear our message. She believes that if we all used it, “Everybody would be paying attention to others and waiting to discuss issues until the receiving party was ready, willing, and able. What a utopia that would.”

Make Friends with Failure

Nyland writes, “When you take the opportunity to learn, not shut down, you often emerge a better person with a new skill set”

Own Your Mistakes 

She adds, “By owning up to your mistakes, parents show their children the power of personal responsibility and teach, through example, that kids can own their responsibilities.”

More Life Lessons

These are just a few of the notes I took while reading this book. I didn’t agree with everything she had to say, and there were parts of the book that dragged a bit, but overall, it was a good read that has given me some perspective and things to think about next time I get in a classroom.

My 2015 Reading Log – with links to every title I’ve read this year

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