Working out at the gym today, I was assigned a series of exercises with a certain number of repetitions to be completed at each station. I took a deep breath and attacked the first set of push ups…. 1, 2, 3, 4, … 20 …whew. I continued in pretty much the same manner through all the reps at all the assigned stations, but for some reason when I got to the last station I decided to count DOWN….20, 19, 18,…3,2,1…whew. I have no idea why I did that. It gave me a strange feeling. I have never counted down. I despise counting down. I like to count UP.
Sometimes I see “66 days to kickoff” on my FB news feed and I want to hide those people. I hear “21 shopping days until Christmas” and I want to throw the remote through the TV. When I was a school teacher, people would ask, “How many days are left in school?” I would never know. I despise counting down. It puts me in a panic as to the amount of time left to accomplish everything I need to get done before the “end”. It gives me a sense of impending doom. I like to count UP.
I even grade papers this way. I mark plus points on every problem instead of minuses. I want students to develop a mindset of the grade being an accumulation of the knowledge they demonstrated on their paper rather than the vacancy of some mysterious missing part. The questions change from “Why did you count off for this?” to “What more did I need to write on this problem?” I like to add UP their grade.
This school year count UP. Encourage your child to relish every hour because they are learning something new. Talk to them about what they did learn in school that day and celebrate it as an accomplishment. Help your child count UP by staying involved with their classes and providing them with support they need along the way. If they need extra help in a subject, help them look at it as an opportunity to accumulate more knowledge and create a better foundation for the road ahead rather than punishment for not paying attention in class.
If you count UP, things may start looking UP.