Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mind Over Negativity In the Classroom


Today was our first day back....there were no kids....today was just meetings and working in our rooms.  Our first meeting was done by Mr. Reyes.  It was an introduction of new people, AYP news (not good...we missed it by .4)...and as always he tried to encourage his to stay positive and keep a good attitude, but struggles come every year because of all the random, endless lists of stuff that just seem to pop up everyday, all day long in school.  How can we fight this negativity?  What do we do as teachers when things don't go our way?  I ended last year asking for one of the rooms that was once housed by a core teacher and had all the bells and whistles (surround sound, a hanging LCD projector, an ELMO).  I did not want much....just a room with all the latest technology.  I emailed my boss in mid June and asked if he had considered my request.  There were three rooms on my floor available...did I get one....nope!  In his defense he did offer me one a floor below me.  It was a math class last year and had all kids of cutesy math things painted on the wall.  It is also across the hall from the Special Ed class that will house my grandson.  Hayden is Down's Syndrome and is my heart.  If he knows that I am across the hall from him....he will figure out a way to slip out and see me.  So...I turned the room down.   I also asked NOT to have first period planning all year this year.  I am a morning person and like to hit the ground running  I have an hour drive home each day....what did I get?....First period planning all year....and nearly 120 students per semester.  I will teach close to 240 students this year.  Frustrations began to arise and I was feeling picked on.  This morning on my way in....I prayed almost the whole way....asking that God give me a positive attitude and keep me our of negative mode.  I felt that ugly negative one rising up a time or two....but uttered a quick prayer and the day progressed nicely.  I learned today when I read my devotional that there are some action steps I can take to change my perspective and response to stressful situations.  I had to ask myself honestly....these questions:  Do the never-ending pressures of teaching drain you emotionally? Is a lack of support and resources stealing your enthusiasm? Are the small daily hassles adding up and overwhelming you?  And there were the answers I needed.  You see effective teaching requires serious mental fortitude. The devotional Awakened helped to empower me to develop the resilient, flexible, positive mindsets I need to:
  • Consciously challenge the negative thoughts that discourage you
  • Build your tolerance for frustration so you become less ‘disturbable’
  • Live beyond your feelings to stay motivated when you don’t see results
  • Change your perception of setbacks so they feel less stressful
  • Let go of unrealistic expectations, standards, and comparisons
  • Realize a sense of accomplishment in a job that’s truly never done
These are simple steps and hopefully they will help me feel peaceful and energized no matter what’s happening around me. Drawing upon principles of stress management, cognitive behavioral therapy, spiritual truths, and personal experiences, This year the teacher is going to learn....she is going to  learn how to renew her mind and take a fresh approach to the challenges of teaching!  Yeeeeaup!  That is definitely my game plan for this year.  

1 comment:

Kathryn Jones said...

Thats good stuff momma! Lets BOTH do that this year!