Life Lessons through Defensive Driving

My trip to Waco a couple of weekends ago turned out be very expensive. I got a ticket in Rosebud for speeding. It’s a “speed trap” (as stated on the sign outside of the city limit sign)

14294713_BG1Well, I did slow down going into Rosebud, but I sped up too soon going OUT of Rosebud.

So, now I get to take defensive driving online. Well, as I was reading tonight (Other Driving Impairments) about Managing Your Emotions it really just spoke to me that you can learn a lot about life through defensive driving…..

Here’s part of what I read:

When you detect your emotions dominating your judgment and actions, practice a technique called self-regulation. Just forget about the gratification of getting even or engaging in a hostile act. Short-circuit the buildup of rage.

  • Do not be competitive. Driving is not a contest.

  • Do not take the aggressive actions of other drivers personally. Try not to be judgmental. Do not jump to conclusions about their behavior or actions. Put yourself in the other driver’s shoes. Perhaps he or she is dealing with an emergency.

  • Listen to soothing music.

  • Cool off when you are angry or frustrated.

  • Go with the flow of traffic. Do not try to beat it or fight it.

  • Give yourself more time than you think you will need to complete your trip. Leave early.

  • Stay focused on the driving task.

  • Demonstrate the kind of courtesy you would like to receive from others.

  • Adjust the air conditioner to keep yourself cool and calm.

Turn a negative driving situation into a positive scenario. Concentrate on the safety of your vehicle, yourself, and your passengers. If you demonstrate courteous behavior, you and society in general will benefit from your decision.
Enjoy your driving experience.

Well, I immediately started thinking about the 7th graders that I had in class today. As you know, I regularly substitute at the Middle School, both 7th and 8th grade. But, the past two days I’ve had 7th grade. And, let me tell you, there are days that are exhausting, like today. There are days that I am almost “lose it” (like yesterday). But, at the end of the day, my heart hurts more than anything. Yes, I am tired. I am tired of talking. I am tired of yelling raising my voice, I am tired of repeating myself 10 (million) times….but most of all, my heart is tired of seeing broken kids. They are broken because they don’t have support at home. They are broken because they come from broken homes. They are broken because people have given up on them. They are broken because they have stopped caring. So, what can we do about it.

They need to learn how to “manage” their emotions and learn self-regulation.

I took the “bullet points” from above and changed them to self-regulation guidelines in the classroom.

  • Do not be competitive. Do not worry about what other students are doing. You need to concentrate on yourself and your work. Learning is NOT a contest. You do not always have to finish first.

  • Do not take the aggressive actions of others. Try not to be judgmental. Do not jump to conclusions about their behavior or actions. Put yourself in the other student’s shoes. Please be respectful of others.

  • Listen to soothing music. Well, you can’t really listen to music during class, but….please,please,please taken advantage of silence. Enjoy being quiet. You don’t have to talk ALL THE TIME.

  • Cool off when you are angry or frustrated. TAKE A BREAK. Separate yourself from the problem. Don’t contribute to it. If there is a room in the classroom, chances are I will let you move away from the problem student.

  • Go with the flow of traffic. Do not try to beat it or fight it. BE PATIENT. Do not ASSUME you know what is going on. Let the teacher explain the work before you start working.

  • Give yourself more time than you think you will need to complete your work. DO NOT RUSH. Take your time and do your best work.

  • Stay focused on the task. (No explanation needed).

  • Demonstrate the kind of courtesy you would like to receive from others. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. If you don’t want someone to take your things without asking, do not take their stuff. If you do not want someone to yell at you, do not yell at them.

So, there you have it. Maybe 7th graders need to take defensive driving living and learn how to “self-regulate”

(It would also REALLY REALLY help if one class would not have 29 students in it…..that’s a lot of students in a very small science room!!!)

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