Be the Reason Someone Smiles
By Tyler J. Baker, an MHS Senior Division English teacher
Making a difference has always been a passion of mine. After college, I started to develop a life philosophy and journal lessons that I have learned throughout my life. The baseline of that philosophy is “don’t be afraid to make someone’s day. Don’t be afraid to make someone smile.”
Writing has always been an outlet for me to express myself. My writing has primarily been for personal reading and reflections, but during this time of uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that sharing some of that writing can help inspire others and connect people.
We all have different feelings about what is going on and what we are supposed to do, but can’t necessarily control most of what is going on in our world. My dad always told me not to worry ahead. Therefore, writing during this time is my way of staying present and being in the here and now. I can’t control everything that will happen in the world tomorrow, but I can control my mindset and stay positive in light of the negativity.
Most of my writings over the last few weeks have been positive poems, uplifting short stories, and even some inspirational thoughts. My hope is to share these using social media outlets with a mission that I started called, #SpreadTheMotivation. That way others can find my writing using a quick search online. This is my attempt at making others smile and help lift some spirits.
Understanding the importance of social and emotional learning for students, especially now, I have decided to use a few lessons each week to focus on positive mindset and the well-being of my students. I have been encouraging students, in my now virtual English classes, to write and share with one another.
I use Mondays as our day to reflect and create. “Motivational Monday” is our way to start the week off on a positive note and for students to design, write, and inspire others. We use many different interactive classroom tools to share positivity and motivation.
Students have been asked to share a motivational quote and explain why it motivates them. They have also shared a “hero” story about who their hero is and why they are inspirational to them. Some classes have also written poems based on different landscape pictures. These are just a few of the different assignments that students have participated in to help #SpreadTheMotivation.
Writing comes in many different forms and is great way to inspire others, stay positive, and be creative. During these uncertain times, I hope that others will find a few minutes to themselves just to sit and write. Now, more than ever, it is important that we look out for one another and stay positive.
Just Wait – a poem by Tyler J. Baker
The moment is coming
The moment when innovators step up
The moment when creative juices flow
Oozing from the mind
Routine, routine, routine
Robotically wrestling with the news
Infecting each ear canal
This is a time to design
A time to invent
A time to think outside of the box
That imprisons each thought
This is when we as Americans will
Build the next best thing
Record the next best song
Create the next best piece of art
Design the next best app
This is when.
Confined, corralled, coordinated
Covid-19, infectious collector
Of peace of mind…but
Connection to God
Connection to Family
Connection to a breath of fresh air
This is a time
To put our trust in God.
Build a fort
Bake a cake
Smell a rose
Draw a picture
Write a poem
Solve a problem
Make a podcast
Skip a stone
And through it all
But just wait.
What are you waiting for?