Failing to plan is like planning to fail..


.. or so one of my students quoted to me a few days ago.  He was referencing one of his favorite teachers from his elementary days.

Until that moment, I hadn’t thought he had taken any stock in his education at all.  I was sorely mistaken.  But I was very glad that I had not given up on this young lad.

What had brought him to a place in his life where he was so suspended – literally – from learning?  The schools had rejected him – many times over – and it appeared to be legitimately so at first blush.  The question that needed to be asked, though, was, “how can we help”?  Maybe I jump to conclusions.  Maybe the question was asked and this young man just did not know how to answer.

We learn to communicate from our parents – well – at least initially.  I know that my parents always stressed to me, “Stacey, communication is one of the most important skills we can have.”.  My parents taught me to communicate through my intelligence (IQ) – but in those days what was missing was the emotional (EQ) communication.  In the sunset months of my Dad’s life he confessed to me that I had taught him how to speak with his heart.  I wish this had really been my doing – but quite honestly it was something that I had learned from a very dear friend of mine – my emotional mentor.  Without her, my mentor, I would have not known that to speak always in IQ does not the soul sooth.  EQ is the language of the spirit.. the essence of what makes us human.  Scary?  You bet.  As Dad used to quote, “who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.. booaahhahhhhhh…”.  Dad used to listen to this famous radio broadcast when he was a kid.  But seriously, EQ is down-right scary.

What would have happened with this young man had he been able to speak through his heart – rather than his mouth.  What words would have been able to ease his troubled soul?  Musicians are so blessed in that their emotions roll off their tongues to connect with the listen’s soul and forge a story that creates unity and peace with its audience.  But what of those of us who are not so musically gifted?  Who wants to listen to a story that is choppy, somewhat covert, and definitely full of flats and wrong notes?

So it would seem that I made a connection with this young student of mine finally – after I inquired about “him”.  I learned about him and tried to speak his language.  I learned that he had made connections to teachers in his life many years earlier and then, for some reason, got lost.  He didn’t have the vocabulary he needed as a maturing young person to express his troubles – and so his troubles were expressed through profanities and anger. 

What will become of this young person?  I don’t know.  What I do know, however, is that he, as every other young person in this world, is a person with feelings.  Given proper care – these feelings will serve him well. 

I plan to help him along his journey – with my colleagues – and together we will help him succeed to plan and hence.. plan to succeed. 

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8 thoughts on “Failing to plan is like planning to fail..

  1. Very few people remember to ask “how can we help?” We are always eager to say, “Let me tell you how you can improve or learn.” Strangely I came straight to your post from reading on Wiki about Elise Boulding who was very firm on the importance of honouring the personhood of children. Your post is a lovely link to my Wiki reading.

  2. He already believes in the planning part. It’s amazing that he used those words, to you, and you are part of what his plan needs to be. I’m glad he found the words he needed, for that moment, for someone to hear him. Great post.

    • It really was some sort of moment in teaching… it made he and I make a connection. I’m glad I was there at his stepping out party. get it – step by step – okay that ‘s a stretch but when have you ever seen a post from me so early in the am?! I had to get his story out – it swirled in my head all night. Thanks, Colleen.

      • I’m glad you got it out. It was a great post. I will wonder about this boy in the future.

        And I like your tie in to your dad’s sayings. 😉

  3. This boy did not come to school today – sigh. And I like my Dad’s sayings too – funny how they come to you involuntarily – I’ll be the same happens to you!:

  4. Sounds like a plan for success!
    Best to him & bless you for being there to help him.

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