Friday, August 31, 2012

Finding the Positive

After 4 weeks of school, I finally find that my work life is settling down enough to come back to blog land. I love my new class. The kids are fantastic, so sweet, hardworking and have a strong desire to learn. I'm teaching the ELL class this year and I am happily surprised to find that I love it. The ELL department in my district really has their act together. I've already received so much useful training in teaching writing and grammar. I also have my first student teacher and she is amazing as well. Truly, all of this has the makings of a great year.

Why then do I feel so emotionally drained and stressed out from work? All I can attribute it to (in a public forum) is that it is due to factors beyond my control. I just need to leave at that.

Coincidentally, on a day where I am feeling so blue, an article appeared in my inbox describing ways for teachers to stay positive. It's really simple actually. Every day, identify three things in your classroom that went well and then describe how you contributed to making them happen. Here are mine for the day:

1. During my teaching of finding the theme of a short passage, my students got it! I realized that they needed a little more support, so I listed several universal themes on the whiteboard. Once they had choices, many were able to pick an appropriate theme and then justify their choices with evidence from the text. Success!
2. Realizing how much appreciation means to me, I told my class today how much I love and appreciate each one of them. Their faces lit up. I was reminded how seeing that expression of joy in a kid's face is why I went into teaching.
3. Answering questions in a complete sentence has become a norm in the classroom. Students know that I expect this of them and now, since I have been consistent with an easy visual cue, its happening. Whoo hoo!

The article compares negative thoughts and the human brain to Velcro, as in they stick with you and you are always able to recall them. While positive thoughts are like Teflon - they slide right off. Simply writing down three things that went well and my contribution each day, will build a positive frame of mind and help me keep up my emotional endurance. The original article can be found here:

What went well at your job today?


  1. I'm working on positive thinking. I do believe it works, but it's so tough to do it :)

  2. Very cool! I will have to start doing this. :)