Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Magical Play (JJ Ossi)

JJ Ossi---- JJ, you are the master of well-crafted play. I have seen you do the thing you do, and it is pure magic. Can you give me some tips on maintaining a playful outlook in life and in the classroom, especially those of us that deal with older kids? When I send you my most difficult kids for a day they come back all aglow. I want the magic!
(Tom Ruark)

First of all thank you for such a lovely compliment. Answering your question will prove what a "Pollyanna" dork I am. I think it is a mixture of Mary Poppins (spoonful of sugar) and the Golder Rule (I try to treat others how I want to be treated). I am a worrywart by nature. I missed out on a great deal of joyful experiences due to sitting out because I was afraid of failing and of embarrassing myself. I discovered I was missing out on the great joy of life. I make the choice every day to seek joy! Some days are tougher than others, but a day without it is a wasted day. Approach each task with joy and each of them feels more like play. Let's be honest, play is more fun than work so I choose to make work feel like play. I believe if I can make the students believe that they have played all day and magically also learned the things that they need to know then I have accomplished my goal. I want my class to be joyous, so that I can create a love of learning that will hopefully follow them throughout their lives.

I also believe that my responsibility as a human is to treat each person that I meet with kindness and love. As cliche as that sounds it is the way to change the world. If I have something kind to say, I say it. If I have something harsh to say, I say it with kindness. I realize (through personal experience) that my words have power. A small greeting, a little compliment can brighten someone else's day, which in turn can impact how they treat the people they encounter that day.

I have no tolerance for cruelty and great respect for kindness. If you can accomplish the same goal with play as you can the other way, I choose my way. It always ends with a smile.

Every day I must choose how to live. Each day I choose joy. I choose it for myself and I choose to spread it around if I am able. I hope to live a life that will make my daughters proud. I also want my daughters to have happiness daily. I realized I should want the same for myself so I choose it daily. It is not magic, just like every other area of life, you must choose how you handle it. I choose love, kindness, and joy.

JJ Ossi


Dorry Lopez said...

I loved reading your response! It gave me a good insight as to what kind of person you are! I would love to get to know you better, as I share your same philosophy about life. You are my kind of person!


Anonymous said...


That is an amazing reply and an even more amazing outlook on life! Play is more fun than work, so why not play! I also know from watching you that you do ALWAYS speak and treat others kindle and with respect, which ain't always easy!

By the way, the two-helmet-heads are too precious.