Monday, 8 February 2016.
8:30 English – Anna is teaching 8C.
“Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend?” she asks excitedly.
Not much of a reaction- not uncommon in Finland, if you ask me.
“OK, let’s try this again. Who’s had a great weekend? Raise your hand.”
One or two hands go up in the air, timidly.
“Who has had a good enough weekend?”
Most of the other sleepy pupils raise their hands.
“And has anybody had a bad, bad weekend?”
A couple of pupils raise their hands.
“Why? Would you like to tell us why?”
“It was just boring.”
“Hey, sorry to hear about that. Do you want to share more?”
“So, tell me this: Did you have food to eat? A bed to sleep in? Maybe the company of your family or siblings?”
Yeses are coming from everywhere.
She likes to tease them a little, and she often does it in a lively way, with lots of laughter and excitement. To wake them up.
“There, you see! Sometimes boring is good! It means you weren’t ill. It means you are alive. You didn’t die last weekend. Phew. Or did you?”
They are adorable, really, it just takes time to get them interested. School can be so boring – the teacher here will admit to it…
“I’m glad you’re still here. But I do agree with you…” — a pause for suspense — “Boring is baaaad. YOLO! Nobody wants boring. I myself H-A-T-E boring.
“OMG, do I hate it…
“And yes! It doesn’t matter how many blessings we have to be grateful for – though gratitude is indeed important – if we compare our lives to happier, more exciting past moments, boredom can make us feel sad and frustrated. It’s all about expectations versus reality, isn’t it?
“But, did you know that most of the time even frustration is very good?
“No!” a bold boy answers. The same one as before.
“Yes, frustration and even failure can be awesome. They tell you what you are unhappy with. What you need to change in your life. They are important signals that can be used as a stepping stone for improvements. For transformation and growth.
“But you must be brave to face them. Face the truth. Maybe one thing at a time. And decide to change. Decide to start dealing with it immediately… Start changing that one thing.”
Some of the pupils are looking very thoughtful now – and others are slowly showcasing smiles of satisfaction.
Her iPhone dings and she quickly puts it in the silent mode. It’s Christian. Yay.
She smiles and her pupils tease her a little.
“No phones, Anna! Put away your phone.”
Anna likes to give her pupils food for thought. It’s usually what she direly needs herself. She hopes she’ll be brave enough to see her changes through to the very end. To victory and better times. Oh, fingers crossed, soul of mine!
But, keep reading. The lesson goes on.
© 2017 rf
Obs. Just the beginning of Day 50.