My memory isn't great, but from what I hear, my mother did not enjoy taking me clothes shopping. From a fairly early age, I stubbornly wanted nothing to do with what might have been fashionable. I preferred polos and pants. (I'm not sure how they got me into ruffly tops that exposed my whole mid-section in the early to mid-70s.) Some of that same stubbornness has followed me into my adult years. How long have skinny jeans been back in style? I just bought my first pair in November. (But I refuse to wear them without boots.) That stubborn streak, which seeps into other areas of my life, can be a weakness of mine, but could it also be a strength?
The quote I shared above could send me in one of several different directions, but my current situation is pushing me to one particular place of thought. One of my newest additions brought with him many challenges. One morning before school, a voice in my head and heart said, "You've got to find his strengths." The mere fact that the thought made itself known proves the strengths weren't easy to spot.
A few weeks ago I read a newsletter by Choice Literacy. It shed some light on my search. What seem like this child's flaws are also most likely his strengths. So I have seen his strengths. I just thought they were only his weaknesses. I must change the lens with which I view him. In fact, the same can be said for others in my classroom. The bossy one has potential leadership skills. The slow one is detail-oriented. The one who's always trying to do things for those who need to be more independent has a motherly heart. Their weaknesses are their strengths, as are mine. I don't mind being my own person and coming into the fashions at my own slow pace. I'm typically very comfortable looking and thinking like myself, even if I'm the only one. The challenge is to focus on the strengths and be willing to acknowledge that they're sometimes found disguised as weaknesses.
The wonderful Choice Literacy newsletter I referred to can be found here.