2a · lessons learned

Best Intentions


Recently I was working with a 3rd-grade class on a communication activity focused on providing and receiving feedback. We used the book, Thanks for the Feedback, I Think by Julia Cook. I firmly believe that a book always provides the gateway for a great discussion, especially in elementary school when they may not have the words or experiences to draw from for the discussion. This book helped to lay a great foundation for the class as we delve into more collaboration, peer to peer feedback and reflection. While we discussed many things related to the book we spent a lot of time talking about assuming best intentions and believing that people giving feedback were genuinely trying to help us improve and grow. Let’s be honest, as adults, we know that is really easy to say but incredibly hard to practice.

As our discussion evolved I decided to connect our conversation to the bracelets I wear every day.


To know me is to know that I am inspired by phrases, quotes, song lyrics – I have them scribbled everywhere. So why these? Why wear these every day?

Choose joy reminds me that there is always a silver lining and being positive for myself and others – I think, I hope – makes our days together better.

Be the light reminds me that there is a lot of darkness in this world and if I can lighten someone’s heart I should.

Let it be reminds me that many things are out of my control and I need to be patient, the universe unfolds as it should.

Choose love reminds me that I should approach every person from a place of love, believing that they are doing their best and I may not be aware of things that they’re dealing with.

Finally, the heart was created by Brian Frosch. Years ago I received a bracelet from a friend and have since purchased many more for myself and others. The photo below explains.


After I explained my bracelets the kids decided they want to create their own. Currently, they are reflecting on what their bracelets will say to inspire them to assume best intentions and then we are going to make them. Stay tuned.

One thought on “Best Intentions

  1. Love this, Chris!
    Another heartfelt post, for sure. Personally, I wrestle with always assuming best intentions. I see big-picture constantly, and I have to fight back temptations of painting a context that simply isn’t there, and also–forever-dwelling on negative context that IS there.
    What’s screaming at me throughout your reflection here is: “I am not a product of my past or present circumstances. I am choosing to set my own path–Not despite anything that could potentially hold me down or hold me back, but IN SPITE of it all. I’m choosing to set my path. And I encourage YOU to do the same, especially as we join hands in this journey of becoming better together for our students and the future.”
    As always, I really value your perspectives, and I can’t wait till your next post.


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