Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Negative Nancy's in the Workplace

There are moments in life, Oprah would call them A-ha moments, some call them moments of epiphany, or awakening.  Whatever it is you choose to call them I'm often jealous of those who so clearly have these moments.  Moments that they see something in a new way that clicks for them.

I had one of these "lightbulb moments" yesterday.  I work at a middle school (low income) in an intervention classroom.  I teach next door to another intervention teacher.  We share the same schedule as we work with different grade levels.  Because we teach intervention classes we sometimes have behavior issues in our classes.  So there are some days that are rough.  Some days when you question if you could possibly be doing ANYTHING right.

Sometimes you talk to other teachers about it.  As my neighboring teacher and I share a schedule we often talk in between classes or during our preps.  This is Neighbor Teacher's first year at a middle school so it's quite the transition.  But yesterday as I was driving home I realized that this teacher complains a lot about their students.  And because I'm with them and sometimes feel similarly, I do too.  Every day is not bad, so I have no idea what my problem is.  

I was allowing myself to get sucked into the negativity.  This is the very reason I've always avoided teacher's lounges.  Because I don't want to be in that environment.  But by commiserating with this teacher I'm focusing on the bad, not the good.  The frustrating, not the uplifting.

Yes, there are absolutely horrible days.  But there are moments in the day that can remind me exactly why I became a teacher.  It might only happen a time or two in a week.  Or maybe it happens once every day.  But it happens.  Good happens.  Fun happens.  Learning happens.

Today, a student was reading a short story on the Hindenburg.  She was asking questions and then on her own, stopped the computer story and went online to google the Hindenburg.  How awesome is that!?  Then she didn't know some of the words and opened the dictionary to look them up.  That is why I teach.

But I need to be wary.  We all do.  Of the sometimes Negative Nancy's that work alongside us.  And perhaps we need to help them become a Realist Ronnie.  Because in reality some days suck, but some days are awesome.  

And who couldn't use a little more awesome in their day.

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