The sun was out today again for softball practice and that thrilled me. It is just easier to be in a good mood and continually positive when the sun is shining. I'm pretty sure that is a scientific fact.
I have a co-worker who spoke to me today about feeling like she was in a negativity funk. Teaching can be very frustrating because a teacher will bust their ass to put together a lesson that is interesting, engaging, informative, exciting, and beautiful and then a student can just take the life out of you by saying, "This is stupid," five minutes into the presentation. Because of that and other things, it's easy to get down sometimes and get pessimistic. So I have a mini-list.
Top three things a teacher can do to get out of a negativity funk:
1. Take inventory of all of your classes and find a student who is doing a great job. Write a little note to the parents of that student telling them how great their child is doing in class. Give it to the student to take home to their parents. This is my standard way of spinning my attitude. It forces me to look on the positive side of the ledger and it is a nice thing to do. It changes my attitude which usually rubs off on the classes who could have been feeding off of the teacher instigated negativity funk.
2. Check yourself to see which teachers you are communicating with the most. If you are around negative teachers who complain about kids all the time, it will wear off and you will become a bitter, old person. And nobody will ever like you because you will have turned into a demon. If you indeed are surrounded by mean-spirited complainers, remove yourself from that environment and have lunch with a couple students in the cafeteria or your classroom to regain yourself. I am super aware of who I spend my adult time with at school. There are many complainers working as teachers all over America and I just never want to eat lunch with any of them.
3. Take an evening and think of nothing school-related. Spend time in the sun if possible. Wine is good too. With a nice dinner and good company.
Pearls Before Breakfast by Gene Weingarten
This piece from The Washington Post is relatively famous and has inspired a few similar projects around the nation. The premise is that Joshua Bell, a world-famous violinist played at rush hour in a DC train station while going incognito. The question was, "Would people stop and listen? Would people recognize the skill level of the so-called 'street musician?'" I'm not going to reveal the results. You must read the piece. It also won the Pulitzer for feature writing. No big deal.
Article: 10 of 10
It is a brilliant premise. It is masterfully written. It also gives some very interesting background on classical music and Joshua Bell.
Teachability: 10 of 10
I think kids would really appreciate the sociological aspect of the experiment. It also deals with beauty which is a prominent theme in a lot of literature so this could be paired with plenty of other texts.