Teaching is a profession that has been getting hammered across the country. Teachers get paid too much, our health care costs too much, BOEs don’t want to give out raises, we don’t work summers, some are mean, some are scary, some have warts, and some are hairy. You have felt the crunch of the Common Core (which I agree with), new math programs, new reading programs, and the mother lode of overwhelming, technology. There is no wonder that teachers are feeling negative about the profession.
I am hear to tell you to stop. Stop whining, crying, lambasting the community, your co workers, the administration, the school, the state, the governor, and the country. Negativity begets negativity. We are in the greatest profession in the world! We teach children. Children who need us to lead them across the path of life. To model good decision making, citizenship, and caring. They may not show it but they need us.
They need us to be positive. To smile, laugh, and engage them. They need us to be the constant in their life that will be there for them. Their lives are a mess. Divorce, awkwardness, sports, grades, dating, money, drugs, alcohol, coolness, hormones, and so much more effect them on a deeper level than they ever let on to. If anyone has ever taken Handle With Care you know that when one party is unstable the other party has to be the rock. The unflappable source that exudes a calm and pacificity.
How do I keep this aura of positivity in a world that keeps pulling me down? I surround myself with positive people. If negativity begets negativity the polar opposite is true as well. (sorry for the weak pun!) This is why I have limited my PLN to people who are like minded. Twitter and Voxer play giant roles in this. A third way I will be increasing my positivity is by going to @edcampNJ. This is a gathering that my PLN will be heavily represented at. The atmosphere will be fun and electric. I will recharge my batteries by seeing how other educators and leaders act and feel.
People feed off of other people. If you notice you are being negative make conscious choices to change that. Remind yourself why you were drawn to teaching, read the Holstee Manifesto, and stop hanging around the complainers. Find people who have the same outlook as you but don’t just agree with you. Become the dumbest person in a room full of smart people! That will make you realize how much more to learn there is in the world. Create something with someone. Contribute to the world of education!
I vow to never let the outside pressures of parents, government, leaders and everyone else who makes my life more difficult to get me down. For every one of those there are 50 children who I can show a productive path towards their goals. Students who need me to be silly, goofy, weird, loud, open, caring, and fun. Students who know when I reprimand them I am upset at their behavior and not with them as a person.
They want to know I will be a constant in our relationship. It is not a friendship but something a whole lot more important. We are their teachers!
Q1: Are you a positive person in your educational setting? How do you know?
Q2: Do you make a conscious decision about your outlook on life or does it just occur?
Q3: Do the ss/staff pick up on when you are in bad mood?
Q4: How do you decide who to spend your “free” time with inside and outside of work?
Q5: How do you unwind or relax? How do you “forget” school or education?
AMEN!!! Well Said! When I arrived early at school on the last day before a break students were waiting even earlier outside the gym (I conduct a before school open gym time). I said to the students “You are so early, are you just so excited this day has finally arrived and we will be on break?” One student replied, “No, I love school.” to which I also answered “ME TOO! I will be missing you all and will especially miss spending time with you in physical education while we are gone!” The other students concurred.