Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Multitasker Extraordinaire

On days like today, the first full day of school, it's easy to lose focus of my goal for the year:  Stay positive.   Especially when the day begins with a gazillion parents and students in the hallway eager to get started.  Twenty minutes before school officially begins. So, today we teachers put on our biggest and brightest smiles and politely asked the parents/students to wait in the front of the school or Media Center until the bell rings.  We nicely explained that we are extremely busy in the last minutes before the bell rings making sure everything is ready, and appreciated their help. Now, we could have grumbled and complained or shut our doors, but we decided to be happy and firm and set the precedent for the year ahead.  Again, in a positive way. It worked!

Once the bell rings in the morning, you instantaneously become a "multitasker extraordinaire".  That means instead of being capable of doing two things at once, you must efficiently handle forty-five. 

Let's review.
Twenty-one students arrive.  Three students hand you notes, which causes one student to get upset because he forgot his note at home and needs to call his mommy. Two students give you lunch money, one in change that she dumps from her hand into yours.  Five students are trying to show you their homework to elicit a "Great Job!" comment  and two are shouting,  "What homework?"  Thankfully you see six darling little ones seated and following the directions on the board.  This leaves the two students at the pencil sharpener experimenting to see just how long you can leave a pencil in the sharpener without something going haywire and why, exactly, I told them you couldn't sharpen a colored pencil in the electric sharpener.  Just when you've done your attendance on the new computer, in walks the late student to hand you his note, give you lunch money, and sharpen a few pencils.  Deep breath, big smile, and a positive attitude and we're off to a good start.  And this is only the first fifteen minutes of the day!

A couple of things in particular made my day more positive.  One was a comment from a co-worker who stopped me in the hall to tell me she is really thinking this whole positivity vibe around the school is making a difference.  She told me that this morning when she was starting to have a negative thought about something, she stopped herself and thought about it in a more positive way!  

The second thing that stands out to me from today came from a student.
She walked in this morning, bright smile on her face and pronounced to me (and the students flocked around me), "This is gonna be the best school year ever!"
I replied, "Really?  How do you know that already? It's only the 2nd day of school."
Student:  "I just have this happy feeling about this year!"  (even bigger smile)

If you ever need to get a positive boost in your day, chat with an eight year old.  
So, what did I do?  I hugged her.  And I told her wholeheartedly that she was right.  This will positively be the best school year ever.   And how do I know that already?  Because I just do. 

Many jobs require multitasking, but I doubt many are quite as fulfilling and fun as mine.  

1 comment:

  1. OMG, you have captured the essence of our existence at Way! I too had a very hectic morning..."You mean we write what you have on the Promethean Board in our PLANNERS? Where? What page? Where do I find the day? Date? Oh...I have to write it in the "Reading/Language Arts" line? What happens if I don't?" Meanwhile I am saying, "Quickly, boys and girls, Music starts in 3 minutes...if you don't finish writing the planner notes before music you will have to copy them from a friend." Oh yeah, I have a mom gave it to me but now I don't know where it is..."what did the note say?" I ask patiently. "I can't remember, but she told me to be sure it goes to the office"

    OMG, they are sooooo stinking cute! What a terrific first full day (including lunch)! Love, love, love 3rd grade and 3rd graders!