Guest Blog Post Written By: Taya
The purpose of a bandaid...
When we were little, when we took a fall and maybe scraped our knees, we got a bandaid. Yes, the band aid did protect the wound while it healed. While it also gave a barrier from our hands to pick at it, and protection from seeing it and feeling the pain once more.
The band aid kept us from the wound
Our two big band aids
We all liked certain band aids, I would put them all over when I was little. I liked the idea of being protected before the accident happened, but I also liked the cartoon characters on them. Now I am grown more and no longer use the little character band aids. But now that I know more about the world I know we all use two band aids to protect us from pain.
Diminish ---- Discard
The diminish band aid
We all have at least once thought: It could be worse.
This is a diminish band aid. Diminishing your problems is making less of them, comparing them to different ones so you feel unworthy of your sadness or struggle.
You can think about the diminishing band aid as if it were a band aid covering a third degree burn. It will cover it so you no longer have to see or think about it, but it will still scar over.
The diminishing band aid has the power to make you feel guilty for the emotional pain you are going through. We claim that since other pain may be worse we do not have the right to feel the way we do. This is false. Comparing pain is an idiotic practice. No one goes through the exact same thing as anyone else, all pain is different and unique and ok to be felt. When you use the diminishing band aid you downgrade your problems in your mind based solely off a completely different emotional pain.
All emotional pain is different and should be treated with care and empathy no matter what degree it is felt in.
Discarding Band Aid
Discarding emotional pain is setting aside the pain you feel because you don’t have the ability or drive to find a solution to the pain.
The discarding band aid can be thought of as not dressing the wound and instead placing the band aid and never taking it off.
Using the discarding band aid you neglect the pain in general, which often leads to a nasty build up and downfall. For a long time I neglected to pay attention to emotional pain I was feeling. I kept putting it off and saying I would wake up better one day. Using the discarding band aid can put the pain at the bottom of the to do list. Because of this, I felt the pain but kept putting off finding a solution or asking for help.
But it had a consequence.
I had worn the discarding band aid for so long that all of the unfelt and unresolved pain I kept ignoring, overflowed. I had two suicide attempts and multiple self harm wounds in the span of two weeks. I finally could no longer cover the emotional pain with a discarding band aid, it piled up and demanded to be felt. So I felt it. And I got better.
Discarding pain is not a solution, it is procrastination and gets in the way of the healing process.
Emotional pain is not an “over sensitive” thing to feel, nor is it a simple task to deal with. Overcoming emotional pain such as mental illness, trauma, bullying, or emotional abuse takes time and care. Reaching out for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you brave. Emotional pain cannot be solved with a discarding band aid or diminishing band aid. It takes empathy, understanding, and love. It won’t ever be an overnight fix, but recognizing the pain and avoiding these band aids can lead you on the path to healing.
Below is an original Spoken Word Rap called “Tame the Pain.”
Created, Written, and Performed by: Taya.
About the Author
Taya has a strong history of student leadership at Enterprise Middle School. Last year, she was the ASB Activities Coordinator and this year has stepped into her current role of President. She balances exceptional classroom performance with sports and theater. Taya is at the heartbeat of Wildcat Nation! She's an active blogger, writer, and spoken word rap artist. Taya is trying to build influence in her community and share her ideals and advice with as many as she can.
Written by: Jennifer Appel
I come from a family of bakers. My dad makes the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever tasted. My brother makes amazing pies at every holiday. And my mom can bake the best bread for every occasion. I grew up learning how to bake and it has become a part of who I am and I love to bake for others. Because of this love of baking, I bring cookies to about every occasion at work. When this happens I always get asked, "can I get a copy of the recipe for those cookies". And of course, I give them a copy. I have given out the recipe so much that I actually have it saved on my school computer.
After giving people the recipe I get this response a lot, my cookies didn't turn out like yours, I don't know what your secret is, but mine don't look or taste the same. For years, I thought, maybe people just aren't as experienced at baking as I am. Then after years of hearing the same thing, I put my teacher hat on and thought if my students are failing the test, I can't blame them, it is on me and my teaching. I didn't properly teach them how to make my cookies, I just handed them a "worksheet" with directions. I started to think about my recipe and realizing that I listed out the ingredients and have temperature, time, etc. but no details about what the dough should look and feel like before you bake it. To start with I use unsweetened butter, that needs to soften on the counter over night. Then I included details about chilling the dough for 1 hour and then you need to let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before you start rolling the dough. While you are warming the dough you need to preheat the oven and make sure it is warm at least 10 minutes before you start baking. The dough also has a silky feeling, if you don't put in enough flour, you must add some while you are kneading the dough, it is all about feel, even when you follow the recipe perfectly you sometimes have to add flour. After you have this silky texture you need to make sure that you roll the dough to the same thickness or you will have some doughy and some burned. You also have to make sure the cookie sheet is in the direct center of the oven, or they won't cook evenly. I have 6-8 minutes as the cook time, but I always undercook my cookies (you don't want any brown on your cookies), they are much softer and yummier. I also frost them and put them in the freezer, the frosting solidifies in the freezer and they are a perfect cookie that doesn't have gooey frosting! All of these factors went into my baking, that I never thought to tell people, why??? Because you should just know that????
Do we do the same thing with school culture? When students come to us we expect that they have been intentionally taught Character, Excellence, and Community. It is our job to show them exactly what that looks like! We need to preheat the oven by teaching them the house rules before they even enter your building. We need to make sure that our classrooms and hallways have the right feel, showing them through experiential training they are able get a better grasp on culture. How much instructional time do we need to intentionally infuse soft skills? This should be part of the "culture" of the school and happen EVERY DAY! Worksheets, role plays and fake scenarios are NOT the way to teach social emotional skills. School Culture can be a JOYFUL experience with KINDNESS, SERVICE, AND EMPATHY being the icing on top.
Award winning culture intentionally teaches students character, excellence, and community.
Jennifer is a teacher and coach at Enterprise Middle School. She has been teaching for 21 years. Her passion for education comes from growing up in an education driven family (4th generation) and wanting to help and serve others. She is now driven to create an environment where all students are able to learn and become passionate about serving others.
In 2018, EMS was awarded the ASCD Whole Child Award for the State of Washington and the Global “Class Act Award” for creating a culture of excellence through kindness, service, and empathy. Additionally, the were selected as a finalist in the 2019 PBIS Film Festival and took top prize in the Community, Parents, and Staff category.
Jennifer has written blogs and lesson design for CharacterStrong. She was selected for the Washington State Reading Cadre and spent 10 years teaching graduate and undergraduate classes at Heritage University. Additionally, she’s spoken at state and national conferences on PBIS, Student Voice, and School Culture.
Jennifer is a part of the coveted Teach Better Speakers Network and presents at conferences, schools, and districts all over the country. Topics include: Creating an Award Winning Culture, Amplifying Student Voice, Student-Led Podcasting, and Infusing Servant Leadership through PBIS.
In 2018, Jennifer helped launch a blog about School Culture and helped roll out a student-led leadership podcast called Award Winning Culture: Hosted by Wildcat Nation, which can be subscribed, listened or reviewed on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, PodBean, and Libsyn.
Jennifer can be contacted through email at email@example.com. You can follow her on twitter at @jennifermappel. Follow AWC on Twitter @awculture or @awcpodcasting on instagram @awardwinningculture. Follow Wildcat Nation on instagram @emsleadership. #WildcatNation #AwardWinningCulture
Award Winning Culture was created by Hans and Jennifer Appel with the sole purpose of creating an educational mindset of Positive INTENTIONALITY and ACTION; with a daily mantra to make our sphere of influence stronger through Character, Excellence, and Community. Part of AWC's mission is to highlight outstanding educators, companies, and resources that support an Award Winning Culture. Both Jennifer and Hans work at Enterprise Middle School aka Wildcat Nation. Wildcat Nation received the 2018 ASCD Whole Child Award in Washington, for its award winning culture and the 2018 Global "Class Act Award" for Kindness.