The Educator's PLN

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Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Two weeks ago, I wrote about achieving happiness and stopping to smell the roses in front of us.  One week ago, I wrote about taking care of our friends through sharing our strengths and supporting each other.  This week I propose a synthesis of these two topics as we look at being happy for our friends and showing support!  In the words of Buddha, let us help each other find happiness by sharing our happiness. There is a classic story of a fisherman that speaks to this principle.


One time a man was walking along the beach and sees another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.

"Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?", he said.

"You don't understand.” the man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."


I would guess that many of you have seen this translate in your own personal lives.  I know I have seen this in my own life as I see the success of others attacked or have felt dragged down.  I know it has even been a part of my own story and I could be guilty as charged.  Whether we readily recognize it or not, we are all crabs in one of life’s buckets… work, home, family or church. 


We all have our respective buckets, and so it is with people in every area of our life.  If one tries to do something different, get better grades, improve themselves, escape an environment, or dream big dreams, other people will try to drag you back down.  My hope would be that we can live through the words of Buddha rather than suffer the fate of the crabs in the bucket. 


I have written many times about how important it is that we stick together as a team.  We are a Rocori team, a CSE/EC team, a grade level team or a department team.  There will be times when any single one of us is reaching up, trying new things, dreaming big or trying to move on.  Our job as teammates is not to pull them back down, but support them.  Remember just one week ago?  “I get by with a little help from my friends!”  


We already have too many barriers and obstacles in front of us in public education.  We have external groups that want to minimize the work we do with students, groups that want us to “fix” every/ all problems of our youth, and hold us accountable when they are not getting better.  We have organizations that want to see public education fail.  We don’t need to add to this with our own internal jealousy, skepticism, and narcissism.   We need each other’s hope, support and optimism to continue to strive to be central Minnesota’s standard of excellence in public education.


So in consideration of our own bucket at CSE, let us light each other’s candles of happiness…. let us fill each other’s buckets… let us find joy in our work together as we work and teach with passion at CSE.



Keep on Truckin’

Eric Skanson

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