November 6, 2015
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.” Albert Schweitzer
As we approach the final weeks of 2015, it is easy for many teachers to get into that familiar habit of complaining and wishing that the holiday starts. I want to be the one who encourages you not to fall into that rut; if you already have, I want to be the one who encourages you to find a rope and climb out.
Each and every day our students need us. I often embrace the fact that I may be the only constant presence in my students’ lives. I make a choice each day that I want that presence to be a positive, constant factor. I encourage you to do the same.
It is a great opportunity that we have to come to school and have an impact on students’ lives from day to day. If we look at teaching as what it is—a huge responsibility—we will realize that it is not to be taken lightly. Sure, there are days when some students get on your nerves. Sure, there are some students that you wouldn’t necessarily want to take home with you. Sure, there are some students from whom you might want to run away if you saw them at Super Store. But we didn’t take on the enormous responsibility of teaching to avoid students. Instead, we became teachers because we care about kids.
Over the next few weeks, I encourage you to eat lunch with your students. Wow! It is amazing how much you can learn from them when they feel that you are interested in their lives. I encourage you to give them an “attaboy” or an “attagirl” any time you can. I encourage you to avoid complaining and keep showing how much you really care. When students feel that their teachers care about them, when they feel safe in our classes, optimal learning will occur.
We are all great teachers, yet we could all be even better. At this time of the school year, it is vitally important that we serve as a stable, constructive factor in our students’ lives. Again, we may be the only constant factors they have—let us commit to being positive ones!
“One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.” Philip Wylie
That “one good teacher” referred to in the quote above might just be you; have a positively wonderful weekend!