I have noticed something about me over the last few months that I don’t like.
I have become increasingly focused in the negative aspects of my profession. I’ve found myself drawn in to those tweets and blog posts that decry the corporatization of the public school system, bemoan the lack of adequate pay for teachers and highlight the disconnect between what the common core was supposed to be (a way to give all students access to a quality education) and what it has become (an ever increasing emphasis on high stakes testing and a source of great angst for parents, students and teachers alike).
Back in September, I read this article by Heather Wolpert and felt sure she must have been secretly visiting my classroom. She was writing about me. I had just told my principal that I needed to get off all the various committees I was on and focus only on my students. I had withdrawn myself from all the good work I was doing, and what’s worse is after I read Heather’s article, I proceeded to ignore all of her good advice. I got sucked into the vortex if negativity that made coming to work every day lose its shine. The challenges we face as teachers and parents are tough right now, but no good can come from ‘living’ in that negative place. I found myself ever more reluctant to get out of my warm bed in the morning, put a smile on my face and greet my students with an open heart. That is just not me.
I truly love my job. I know I’m good at it, and that I make a difference to my students’ lives. I want to be the best that I can be for them every day. And for myself. So, Today I tidied up my twitter feed and made a pledge to myself to keep it strictly ‘professional’ – a place for learning and collaboration and a place where I can go to reboot and recharge. In the end, I have 60 children who rely on me to lift them up and show them a positive future. No more listening to or participating in the negative talk.
I want balloons, not anchors.