Staying Positive

For me, June brings a lot of mixed emotions. There’s the excitement of summer holidays and a much needed break for everyone, and there’s also the sadness of a great year coming to an end. The school environment can be a stressful one now. As we finalize class lists, look at room movements, and embrace grade changes (for some people), it’s easy for positive people to become negative … and I’m no exception to that.

One thing that I truly admire about our principal, Paul Clemens, is his ability to always stay positive. He’s reminded me about the importance of optimism, and for this, I’m thankful. So after spending most of my day in planning meetings, and feeling some extreme highs and some extreme lows, I decided to spend tonight reminding myself of some of this year’s successes and why I truly love this job!

  1. I made the change from primary to junior, and I couldn’t be happier! I was really nervous before the year began, but I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to teach Grade 6. It’s amazing to see what the students can do at this older age, and I know that if I were to go back to primary now, I would teach a lot differently than I did before. As teachers, I think we all need the opportunity to teach different grade levels, as this gives us a better understanding of students, how they learn, and how the learning connects from year to year.
  2. I got to work as part of an incredible team. Gina, my teaching partner, is absolutely amazing, and I think that we complement each other very well. It was great planning with her this year, and learning so much from her too. I also got to learn with fantastic educators online (through Twitter), and Gina and I used much of what my PLN shared in our classrooms.
  3. I got to teach absolutely incredible students! I loved my class this year. I have such an eclectic mix of students — with various strengths, needs, and interests — and I enjoyed working with every one of them. I’m thrilled when I see what they can do now: be it the academic gains they made, the social gains they made, and/or the changes they made in their work habits. Having taught many of these students before in JK and SK, it’s great to see how far they’ve come. Teaching makes me happy, and teaching these students makes me thrilled!
  4. I got to work with fantastic parents! The parents have been so supportive this year, and conversations with them helped me re-examine what I do and how I do it. It’s amazing what we can do when we work together, and this year showed me that. A special “thank you” to all of my terrific parents that helped teach me so much about your terrific children and how to teach them.
  5. I got to work with amazing administrators! Paul Clemens (our principal) and Tammy McLaughlin (our vice principal) truly care about students and will do all they can to support them. They’ve also been so supportive of me and so willing to answer my many questions throughout the year. Thank you for helping me problem solve (numerous times) as well as being the “listening ear” when I’ve needed one. I love working with both of you!

Thinking these happy thoughts makes me feel a lot better tonight! How do you remain positive at this stressful time of the year? What are some of your happy memories of this year?


5 thoughts on “Staying Positive

  1. Such a lovely post, Aviva! As trite as it sounds, it really does take a village of educators, parents and support staff to educate our students, and unfortunately, June seems to be one of those times that so many of the villagers are stressed, tired, and sometimes frustrated. Trying to remind ourselves to stop and reflect on the great gains that have been making (just as you have done) helps to put those frustrations into perspectives. So does remembering that for many of our students June may be the highlight of their year. Don’t we owe it to them to try to make their experiences as positive as possible? I’m glad kids (and teachers) are excited for summer but I still want them to be excited about school – now and in September. So keep being a cheerleader, and encourage students to show their appreciation for their village but teaching them to be reflective learners. Educators certainly don’t need teacher gifts…just those great words “thanks, you’ve taught me so much this year”. I’ll start: thanks Aviva and Gina – you’ve both taught me so much this year. Looking forward to learning more with you and your students soon!

    • Kristi, thank you for such a lovely comment and for all of your support throughout the year! I’m thrilled that I get to work even more closely with you next year. You’re right: a “thank you” can mean so much, and yours definitely meant that.

      I also agree with you about the importance of students being excited now, and in September, for school. We need to stay positive for them, and I think focusing on the students and the learning, makes this stressful time of the year a wonderfully happy time too!

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your school year! See you soon!

  2. Such a good post – it’s so easy to get dragged down by negatives it’s great to remind yourself of all of these positives! I’ll share what I do to stay positive.

    During my first year of teaching somebody offhandedly mentioned starting a “Feel Good Folder” when I got a really cool comic strip from one of my students. So I did just that. I got a bright red file folder, wrote Feel Good Folder on it, and put it in my filing cabinet. I get lots of cards and pictures every year, but this file is especially for those that really touch me. When I get something very special, it goes in my feel good folder (even if it’s an email – I print those!). Then when I’m having one of those down days, I pull out that red folder, and it does exactly what its name says. Can’t help but feeling better and remembering why I teach when I look through those things.

    I’d love to hear if anybody else has anything like a Feel Good Folder. Come to think of it, I may have to pop by school tomorrow just to check it out! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Becky! I absolutely love your idea of the Feel Good Folder! I always keep a binder of special emails and cards, but this is like a smaller collection of those extra special notes. I think I’m going to have to try this for next year.

      I wonder if anyone else has a Feel Good Folder too!

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