Today was the start of the 2011-2012 school year. Due to numerous cuts in our district, I went from just teaching 8th grade language arts to 7th and 8th grade language arts. From the time I enter my classroom, to the time I am done 6th hour, my day is filled with grammar, reading, writing, and a numerous digital natives.
Prior to the school year starting, I was apprehensive and anxious about my new teaching assignment. In addition, after a week of professional development where emotions were high and me not exactly being my usual professional self, I wasn’t exactly excited about going back for day one.
After doing some reading over the Labor Day weekend and spending a fabulous weekend with my family, I decided that it wasn’t my new teaching assignment that was causing all of the anxiety or anything that might have happened during our first week back as teachers. The problem was me, plain and simple. What do I mean? It is easy to get disgruntled with our state legislators, or governors, or the whole government system. I can be snotty towards my administrators and place blame on them for the current situation that I in for teaching. But why? What good is it going to do to be frustrated and go into school with a poor attitude. I believe it was Stephen Covey who said no one can make you feel a certain way, you control your own feelings and how you react to people. Plain and simple, I needed an attitude adjustment. A phrase I have found myself saying to middle schoolers in the past.
So what did I do? I gave myself a swift kick in the backside. When I went to bed Monday night, I evaluated my position and decided I can only control me and what I do in my classroom. I know times are tough and it is easy to be unhappy and place blame onto certain individuals, but face reality, who are we supposed to be there for? That’s right, the KIDS. We don’t need to waist valuable time worrying about what is coming down the turnpike next. We need to focus on the students and be the very best we can be in our classrooms. The kids in the classroom don’t need to suffer anymore than they have or will in the future.
You have the power to control your attitude and emotions. It took me almost an entire week to realize this. I got caught up in the Grumpy Gripers club and needed to put into perspective what was more important. I was being selfish about my own feelings.
I encourage everyone to look at their attitude as they start this new school year. Now is the time to embrace being positive and making the most of your situation.
New school year, no problem!