15 Tips To Stay Positive

1244029_sunburstI recently read an article entitled Is Positive Possible? by Samantha on TeacherLingo.com. In the article, she writes in part:

Why are we so depressed? Why do we only feel needed and understood when we are griping together? I think about this a lot. It is as if we are all addicted to the frenzy, the wretched wreck of it all. “Who said this? Who is quitting? What are they making us do now?” If you say anything good-everyone looks at you like you’ve got to be kidding.

My response to her was:

Dave Ramsey says “If your broke friends are making fun of your financial plan, you’re on the right track.” Similarly, if your miserable colleagues are making fun of your positive attitude, you are on the right track.

I don’t get invited to parties or other social gatherings with other teachers from my school. In fact, I was in the teacher’s lounge doing some work one day this year during lunch and “the regular gang” evidently showed up to complain. I just sat there doing my work and it was kind of funny hearing them try to avoid saying negative things. I laughed about it after I left.

Check out the video at the end of this article, after you finish reading it. :)

Bloggrrl also left a comment on my site that said:

Most of the time, I enjoy teaching. I do tend to isolate myself, however, because I simply can’t stand listening to the other teachers call students stupid, trashy, etc. It seems that almost everyone else does it, and after offering an alternate viewpoint, I prefer not to be around it. Anyone who can stay positive and yet flourish in the environment that is Texas public schools has my respect and admiration.

I guess that means she respects and admires me. Oh to be so lucky!

I wanted to give a list of 15 tips to stay positive in the education world.

  1. Avoid the teacher’s lounge
  2. Remember why you entered the teaching profession
  3. Offer solutions instead of just complaining of problems
  4. Take control of your life and remain sane
  5. Declutter your life
  6. Make friends outside of education
  7. Read The Chief Happiness Officer blog
  8. Make POSITIVE friends inside education
  9. Give time, money, and/or love frequently and liberally
  10. Ignore arguments about “what teachers are worth”
  11. Remember What Teachers Make
  12. Make a fool of yourself
  13. Smile
  14. Avoid work on days off as much as possible
  15. Actively seek out ways to avoid work at home (have students grade papers, limit office hours)

I find that the less I allow myself to take home, the less time I tend to waste at work.

In case you were wondering
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will be posting the continuation of Polishing The Résumé tomorrow instead of today. I will not be online today, and do not have the time to research and write the second part. I hope you enjoy this article that I had planned to publish tomorrow.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

6 Comments on 15 Tips To Stay Positive

  1. I do generally stay happy, idealistic and generally love teaching. I LOVE my job! But I think I get frustrated with the extra-curricular that I am managing. When I look at my blog and most of the complaining and venting about my job, its the extra-curricular. I can give it up according to my union rep w/o risking my job, but I just feel funny about breaking a promise to children. I promised them this year. I desperately want to keep my promise.

    Ooopps, back to the subject. Maintaining a positive attitude is easy in the world of teaching, in my honest opinion. You learn who the negative people are and you stay away from them. Our Instructional Coach always comments about how much enthusiasm and eagerness I show for the job, he has kind of said that it will change as the years go by. I hope not. If so, then its time for a change.

  2. You hit it on target. When your outlook changes, it’s time to change. Either your outlook, or the district, or even your entire career path. People don’t like to make hard decisions…

  3. I love the tips on being positive. Avoiding the teachers lounge is great advice. My wife constantly complains of the negativity she hears from colleagues in her teachers lounge. I avoid it like the plague. Thanks for a nice post.

  4. I actually started my blog as a way to stay positive in a very toxic work situation last year. I was one of those teachers who needed support because I was in a near impossible classroom situation. I was completely burnt with the needs of my class and the lack of support. So I write about the good things on my blog. It helps me to focus on the positive. I see the kids in a new light through my camera lens. I even get positive feedback from other teachers and parents who read the blog. Now, some of my colleagues read my blog too.

    I also find that quote about being the change you want to see is really true. I do sign up for the volunteer projects that I value and support colleagues in their pet projects. I never miss an opportunity to suggest a positive change our school could make at a faculty meeting. It almost always falls on deaf ears, but I don’t give up.

    If that fails, remember, when you close your door on your classroom to teach, the room and it’s climate are yours to create and you can make it the positive place that you want.

  5. Jane, I’m glad that blogging has done that for you. I know that it has actually helped me to be more efficient and more effective in my work. It has forced me to think about a lot of what I do, especially since I try to come across as someone who actually knows a little bit on here!

  6. The opposite of light is dark , the coin has two sides , there's both positive and negative , we need a balance of the two to achieve real enlightenment !!

    as the old saying goes , plan for the worst , hope for the best and expect something in between

    learn as i have to balance between both the plus and negatives and derive energy from both to develop real power and understanding

    we must learn not to fear the dark it gives the light a place to shine just as death is a means to an end

    without sadness and pain there would be nothing for us to compare the good things in life to

    i get the shits at people who are so blind they have to focus on only positive things living in the optimistic realm , as to with someone who thoughts are only for the negative always pessimistic outlook

    how many of us go around talking only of neutrality or common ground ? lets learn to face reality and deal with what is real

    Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. Benjamin Franklin

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