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  • Sam Darling

Reframe anything

The kids at school have started to tear apart this stone wall.

As I was silently reflecting on how stone walls are some of the most long-lasting human edifices in history yet a few kids can tear one apart in a matter of hours, a mom started to growl about the mess. Then, a new teacher piped up, “This tells me they need some materials to build their own ideas. We should get them some logs and rocks to play with in the woodlot.”

A lot of things have changed since I was at school. I mean, I grant you this is especially true for me as I attended boarding school when I was ten years old that was run by nuns and lived with them in a mansion on a hill. So I’m this weird Dickensian throwback who is constantly amazed at the patience and empathy of modern educators. And I’m often struck by how many things can be reframed. It’s a habit in educators that I’m trying to develop for myself. Instead of being angry with the person who has perpetrated damage on you, ask yourself about the unmet need.

Meanwhile, a few lines sung from Bye Bye Birdie can cheer up grumpy parents. Because we all feel like Paul Lynde sometimes.

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