The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Blogging to Stay Positive

Even after saying a couple of months ago that I wouldn’t apologise if I miss a day of blogging, I feel like I do need to apologise now because I have missed two days of blogging. The new semester has started, not just in my classroom, but also for my graduate coursework. I have classes on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this semester instead of Monday and Wednesday, and I had a meeting with my Cub Scout leaders last night that went longer than anticipated. None of that is to excuse me from not keeping my personal commitment to blog each day; rather, it is just a reason for my absence. And as I so often tell me students, a reason isn’t necessarily an excuse.

However, I have recommitted myself to keeping my blogging goals, not because I feel like there are people who are upset when I miss out, but because I feel like I am depriving myself of a much needed time to reflect on my day and share my thoughts about what positive things we have been doing in my classroom.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the positive. I have a rough days. Every teacher does. Anyone who tells you that every day is calm and peaceful and focused and on task and magical is probably trying to sell you something. I don’t say that to be cynical by any stretch of the imagination. It is simply the reality of what it is to be a teacher, especially in a public school. I have 22 students now. Each and every single one of them comes to me with a unique background and unique experiences. And each student has his or her own worries, concerns, fears, hopes, and dreams. All of that comes with them in the classroom. No one student is alike. We are all different. And that means we are not going to all do the same thing at the same time. Unless you transport us all to Camazotz. But, even then, there are going to be variations.

And so our differences, which can cause friction and strife, are ultimately what cause all of the good that happens, too. Blogging about the good stuff helps me keep a more positive attitude. So I want to keep it up. There is enough negativity in the world as it is; I don’t want to contribute to it if I can help it.

And we do have good things happen! Every day something positive, something great happens in my classroom. My students are learning. They are growing. They show compassion and empathy. They help each other. They help me. They want to do right, not because they will get rewarded, although sometimes they will, not because they fear punishment if they don’t, although some will, not because it is expected of them, although it absolutely is, but because they know that it is simply the right thing to do. But they are still children. They are young. And they are going to make mistakes.

One of my students got frustrated with a classmate today and expressed that in a way that was not as positive and healthy as it could have been. When I was speaking to him about it, he started to take out that frustration on me. It was hard to keep control because it was making me feel frustrated, too. But then he calmed down and i was able to talk to him about what happened and he said something that was so simple yet so profound. He said, “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it.”

I wish more of us would take the time to do that. It reminds me of some fantastic advice from a young man who is an inspiration to me and so many others: Kid President.

So now that the first couple of weeks of the new semester have gotten started, I am going to work at getting back into blogging each day. Thank you for your continuing support! Please feel free to share something positive that has happened today!

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