Staying focused on the sunny side of things in education is sometimes a battle. It's not my students, my class, my school. It's all of the other junk that gets in my head when I allow myself to pay attention to sound bites from the news or I read about budget cuts and teacher lay-offs. When I start to feel myself being drawn into the doom and gloom, I have to make a conscious effort to change course. I used to allow myself to get so mired in it that I'd lose sleep at night. Now, it still bothers me but I just can't let myself dwell on it. I have to accept that I don't have control over some things and continue to give 100 percent to my kids every day. Not because of some merit pay carrot being dangled in front of me, but because it's the right thing to do.
So that's all fine and good in my own head. But step into a school like mine with 75 teachers who haven't all accepted the "Keep Calm and Carry On" mantra and it becomes very easy for the little ball of sunshine I'm trying to cultivate to become quickly overtaken by some pretty dark clouds. I can't walk around the school like a smiling lunatic pretending not to notice that newer teachers are worried about not having a job and veteran teachers are facing times they could never have imagined. Besides just offering a sympathetic ear and encouraging words, what more can I do?
Well, quite by accident, I think I've found a teeny tiny way that I can help lift the spirits of my colleagues as I continue on my personal quest to keep my head above the rising tide of negativity. It's called "Other Teacher Feature" and it's coming right here to this sunshiny blog starting tomorrow.
I hope you'll stop by to read all about it!