They say it starts early. They say it starts with tiny little things that you don't even notice. They say you don't realize it until you have PTSD.
Well today I kinda realized it when I made myself a sticker chart to help with my workout routine. I figured if behavior contracts work for kids, they might work for modifying my lack of motivation to hit the gym. So I opened Excel, wrote up a chart with attainable goals and a self selected reward, printed off a week, and put it on the fridge.
Teaching is leaking into my life.
I started to notice it last Christmas. My giant extended family was all together and we couldn't get everyone quiet for grace and a toast. My natural instinct was, of course, to shout "ONE TWO THREE EYES ON ME!" And I was actually a little annoyed when everyone didn't shout back "ONE TWO EYES ON YOU!"
The next time I noticed it was when I was telling my husband something I felt we had to do. "It's not a choice" I chimed. He gave me the don't pull your teacher voodoo on me look.
One time I was talking to a friend who is sorta known for having a short attention span, and I kept asking her to repeat everything back to me to make sure she was retaining everything I said over the phone. Another time I wrote her a list of my key points.
So tonight, as I gave myself a smiley face for doing my pushups and sit ups and skipping dessert, I realized that it has already started. Before I even had the chance to get my own classroom, teaching is leaking into my entire life.
But my smiley face is so fun. I have a whole day of smiley faces. Tomorrow working out will be easier, now that I know I'll get a smiley face on a piece of paper. Really, it will!
After all, when kids consistently make really awful choices, doesn't a smiley face on a piece of paper fix their behavior?