Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready or Not

I kept thinking to myself today, that I was too tired to go home and blog about all this positivity and keeping positive this year.  After all, it was the last day to ready my room for my little 3rd graders and time was precious.  After a luxurious summer, I had been getting up at 5:45 a.m. for four days straight. I was exhausted!  And then, I kept running into teachers at school who kept telling me they were laughing at the blog, or thanking me for writing the blog.   "Keep it up!" they said.  "I like reading the blog," they informed me.  Hmmmmm... really??  This is a lot of pressure.

So, today, I started thinking about our school office.  The two women that work in our office are really amazing!  Talk about postive attitude!  Every time I walk by, no matter how many phones are ringing, or how many teachers are in there asking stupid important questions, they never fail to look up at you, smile, and help you with whatever it is you need.  How in the world do they do that?  The phones are ringing off the hook, stressed-out teachers are asking them questions they should know the answer to (I'm guilty of this) and they stop whatever it is they are doing and help you.  And with a smile, I might add.  Amazing!   Thank you -- Thank you office!  You make us look good every day.  We appreciate you and are happy that you are there for us no matter what.  Your positive attitude helps keep us positive.  It's comforting for us to know that you will be there for us no matter what.  I know we don't tell you often enough, but you are wonderful.

Today was our last "official" work day before school begins on Tuesday.   As you can imagine, everyone was printing, laminating, copying, and putting the finishing touches on their rooms to look just perfect for the first day.  What's so amazing to me is that even when the color printer went temporarily out of service, and the Promethean boards weren't responding, and the copier jammed (for the 4th time), everyone just smiled and took it in stride.  I didn't pass a teacher in the hall today that didn't have a big smile and a positive attitude.    And I sincerely apologize to the teachers who wanted to slap me today because I know it can be a little disarming at first.  Especially, since I readily admit, I have not always been the most positive teacher in the hallway.

I don't know about you, but the phrase "mind over matter" comes to mind.  It's funny, because I always tell my math phobic students every year to just SAY you like math (or whatever) and it will become true!   How ironic that if I truly practice what I preach, it really is true!  I really am more positive.  

Every year, I feel excited and happy about the new year ahead of me.  A new beginning, with new students.  A blank slate.   This year, it's different.  I'm not just excited and looking forward to the new school year, I know that I'm going to make a real difference and I'm going to be positive.  Whenever I feel negative, I'm going to actively turn that into a more positive attitude.  That might mean going across the hallway to ask for help,  that might mean taking a quiet moment to think about my students.  Sounds hokey, but I really think it makes a difference.  I know some of you think I am being sarcastic or making fun of the whole "being positive" idea, but I'm really serious.

I don't know about you, but today, I learned a valuable lesson about people.  It was unexpected and inspiring.   Be who you are.  Be happy and have faith.  Follow your passion.  You're worth it.  Take risks.  Those who matter will still be there. Love what you do and why you do it.   

Let's face it none of us know what's going to happen today, tomorrow, or in 5 years.  I'm grateful that I get up every day and go to a place that is positive, challenging, motivating, and inspiring.   I feel very lucky.  

Now, enjoy a few days to relax.  September hits like a lightning bolt.  
But, no worries, we are ready.
And we are positively awesome.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's Contagious!

Well, I'm already noticing that all this positivity is really catchy!   Even though I'm a morning person and jump out of bed early every morning to begin my day, getting up for day #3 of PD wasn't making me feel so positive this morning.  Not to worry, though, the positive spin was meeting some fellow teachers for breakfast and chatting (all mostly) positively.  It seems everyone is excited to get back to school again!

Happily, today's PD focused on technology - one of my favorite things!  I was not looking forward to re-learning a windows machine after being totally converted to Mac several years ago.  Now, normally, my attitude would be to grumble and complain that I don't want to change to a new computer and how I hate windows machines, etc. but today, I decided to welcome the day with a smile and positive attitude. The positive spin being all the wonderful new programs and gadgets to explore on my new computer! Even if some of them do take 45 minutes to load.  (Note: that might be an exaggeration).

Our wonderful (and very positive) media specialist kicked off the meeting with an interesting and funny article called "Self Help for Skeptics", a topical and funny read about passwords in the Wall Street Journal.   Happy reading.

Thank you to the teacher today who reminded me to "Stay Positive" when she heard me grumbling about (of all things) a desk in my room.  It's not to say I stayed positive all day and tried to look at the bright side, but I am really trying.  So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into the copy room to start my million copies for the first week of school when I happened upon this on our bulletin board:

This truly made my day!  Thanks to the "mystery" teacher who made this.  You really should put this on Pinterest.  And by the way, do you have an extra copy?  I think I'm going to hang it up in my classroom.   If it's helping us teachers stay positive, I think the kids would love it.  

Afternoon PD continued with school improvement goals and looking over MEAP results.  That is a really, really difficult topic to stay positive about.  Plus it had been almost an entire 5 hours of me trying to stay positive, so I was teetering on the edge. Finally, I looked at the positive side -- look at all the curriculum we did cover and all the questions the students did get correct!  We are amazing teachers!! 

If this keeps up, I'm going to need a hug.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


  Welcome, teacher friends, to a new school year!

My goal this year is to keep a positive attitude, even during the roughest days.  How, you ask, can I do that?  I'm going to try and put a positive spin on any situation...  look at the glass 1/2 full and all that mumbo-jumbo.    

So.. let's get started....

Situation:        Spending the last days of summer vacation in 3 days of PD

Positive Spin:  Boring, beneficial professional development that will help me become a
                      better teacher.
                      I get to hang out with teacher friends and eat lunch in a restaurant, instead
                      of watching 8 year olds twist a fruit roll-up around their wrist.
                      I can use the bathroom as many times as I want during the day AND at any
                      time I want.
                      I can text my friends and family.
                      We get candy and cookies.

All in all, it's been a very positive day!!