SOLC#2: A Different Road

I stood at the top of the stairs on the edge of the field as the students started to trickle into line from recess. I anticipated the complaints from the boys about the soccer game.

Kevin* came up to me and exclaimed, “Ms. Kim, Ms. Kim. Someone kept telling me to shut up during soccer.”

“Who was it? ” I asked. He looked around pointed to another boy on the other line.

“Jeremy.* But Ms. Kim, I just ignored him and walked away.” He replied satisfactorily.

“Give me a high-five!”  I responded. Finally, I thought to myself.

*Name changed

I was reminded of this poem after this happened:


by Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

8 thoughts on “SOLC#2: A Different Road

  1. elsie says:

    So glad that Kevin was able to walk down that other street. I’m sure it was a big change from previous behaviors. Nice story and poem.

    • jee young says:

      Yes, it was a big milestone in his behavior. We’ve had so many conversations about how to react appropriately to conflict…the life of a 5th grade teacher!

  2. Michelle says:

    Love your connection between your slice and the poem. I’m going to save this poem — it can be associated with so many situations!

  3. Andi Poe says:

    Wow…were you at our dinner table last night! Our analog was a brick wall, when lecturing to our oldest. We told him find a way around, or just go the other way. My husband wrote a great “slice” on it last night. He didn’t post it, now I wish he had!

  4. Tim Krell says:

    Going around, now there’s a concept! It’s interesting that Kevin wanted to tell you about the incident even though in his mind it seemed to be resolved. Great poem too.

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