Monday, July 6, 2009

Bucket thoughts

No, this isn't another post about a "bucket list", made popular by a (fairly) recent film. It's about the proverbial bucket we carry inside that holds our finest traits and values. I understand the idea came from an armchair psyche book (Dr. Donald O. Clifton & Merrill Lundgren) back in the 60's, but I learned about it from a 6th grade teacher at the Roseburg school where I worked.

Mr. Stratton was our resident character and disciplinarian. He had a gruff exterior that kept his good heart and artistic talents hidden from those who didn't know him well. We had many treasures at that little school and he was definitely one. He could be spotted giving his opinion and guidance in what we called, "his office"--the open doorway to the boiler room. Which seemed to be most often during the latter half of the school year, when most of the personality issues and conflicts would crop up amongst the 5th and 6th graders. Since there were more issues than our wonderful counselor and principal could handle alone, Mr. Stratton was usually the first step in the discipline process.
One day in the staff room he was talking about his philosophy and how it related to a recent student issue. It made so much sense and made a great visual when talking to my own children about being able to say good things about yourself or just making a point without tearing someone else down.
They still remind me today, "Mom, you don't have to rob their bucket to fill your own!", and it's still relevant all these years later.

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