So just a bit of background.
I have a terrible back. Really my entire muscle system seems to be fighting my attempts at living a more healthy life. I blame years of believing a workout consisted of walking back upstairs to the fridge for another “anything” while watching shows. I have worked out a pretty good system of hurt myself, go to the chiropractor, massage therapist, physiotherapist, get better and then hurt myself again. Vicious cycle I know. Usually, the antecedent is poor form in lifting (usually a box or something, not weights) but today the culprit is a sneeze.
A small insignificant sneeze, moving just the wrong way, things slip out of place and then everything else goes with it.
Laughingly, after my friend Mary made the statement that small sneezes can cause havoc, I said I was going to blog about it and here we are.
How often is it a huge event that triggers a delay in our thinking, a stumbling block in our learning or an interruption in our classroom? I think more often than not it is a small thing. A small detail that perhaps we are hung up on (the definition of independent reading for example).
In my own experience, the small things are the stumbling blocks. I have learned to avoid the big and often do not realize my actions are leading to the small. The way we talk to a co-worker or a student, the attention we give to a story, the time and thought we put into work we have our students do. All small things that if not done properly can lead to havoc.
The other day a student I teach was upset over a comment that a teacher made offhandedly. No harm was intended and as I spoke to the teacher after and they explained what happened from their perspective it was hard to see why the student was upset. But the important part is they were. The student took that small little “sneeze” and it put them all out of whack.
An interaction between staff members with differing opinions can often be a source of culture destruction on a previously well functioning team. We are careful and attentive to not do things that we see as big stumbling blocks. I would never make a personal attack against a co-worker because I know the end result of that action is havoc, I would and have made comments though that I thought were benign and the other party did not. Usually, an apology can fix that up but like I discovered today sometimes even the right prescription to solve the problem takes some time (emergency chiropractor trip with little immediate results).
I think we need to remember that sometimes the small things cause the biggest problems. Call it a sneeze or a sliver or those dang popcorn shells that get stuck in your teeth or the dreaded itch you can’t scratch. Little things distract us from what is important. The take our attention away from the end goal. Mine is to be healthier and yet today I can’t move because of a sneeze.
Even the smallest actions can cause havoc.
Thanks for the inspiration “sneeze”, and pointing out the lesson Dr.Mary 🙂