Attitude is everything when it comes to being a teacher in school. When you walk out your front door each morning, you get to make the choice of how your day will go. Below, I have outlined how to create a positive attitude that will last throughout the whole school day.
A positive attitude should start right away in the morning. I like to set my alarm from my cell phone, and I have the tune “Holiday Road” from the movie “Vacation” to wake me up every day. It’s an upbeat song and doesn’t make me cranky when I hear it! I also choose to exercise in the morning as well. I just spend about thirty minutes a day, but it really gets my blood pumping and my mind working early in the day. Next, I start my day off with a breakfast that I like and will get me energized for the school day. For those of you that don’t have a lot of time, make sure it is something easy and quick. My go to breakfast in this case is a yogurt and a banana.
As I head out the door for school I usually take a couple of deep breaths and control my breathing. It helps me to focus for the day. The moment I hop in my car, I have my favorite radio station playing. I tend to like the Bob and Tom morning show because it cracks me up and gets me laughing early in the morning. Many of you probably have mobile devices that you stream throughout your car, while others may just like the silence. The travel time to work should always be a time for you to get charged up for the school day.
When I arrive at school I have a smile on my face. As I walk down the hallway to my classroom I will greet co-workers with a smile and a “Good morning!” I will also engage in a brief conversation if it appears that the other educator wants to chat. Next, I head to the teachers’ lounge. My go-to drink in the morning is ice water. I know many of you may be coffee drinkers so make sure you have your fuel ready to go as well.
When I enter my classroom, I turn on my lights, login to my computer and then turn on Pandora radio. I have quite a few stations that I listen to throughout the school year. I keep the volume just loud enough to hear it as I prepare for the school day. The music gets my mind and body moving early in the morning. I usually arrive to school at least an hour before the students arrive. This allows me to look over my lesson plans, get materials ready, and be prepared for my students. I need to be prepared in order to maintain a positive attitude. I hate to feel behind or rushed.
When the students arrive at school I make sure I greet them before they enter the room. I always have a smile on my face, and take time to listen to their short stories before they enter the room. I go around to each student in the morning and sign their assignment notebooks as well. This gives me a chance to verbally greet the students again and acknowledge them. It makes the students feel good and it helps me to connect with each of them right away.
I Am Somebody Chant
After I sign notebooks and take attendance, the class does the Pledge of Allegiance. Then comes my favorite part of the day. We do a class chant together. It is called, “I am Somebody.” It is listed below if you choose to use it in your classroom.
I am somebody.
I am capable and lovable.
I am teachable.
Therefore, I can learn.
I can do anything when I try.
I will not let others stand in my way of learning.
I am somebody.
I am somebody.
I am somebody.
This chant fires up my students and also puts a smile on my face as well because the students take ownership in this and truly believe that they are somebody! It is the perfect way to start the school day.
Teaching with a class full of so many unique needs, such as cognitively disabled, emotionally disabled, learning disabled, other health impairments, autism, and students of poverty, can be draining. But the one thing that keeps my attitude positive is that these students truly like to be in school. It is a chance for them to be with their peers, to be in a nurturing environment, and a chance for them to take risks. Just knowing that helps my attitude to remain positive and to really try to reach out to these students to show them that I care.
Be Positive with Colleagues
I make sure during my prep and lunch time that I touch base with my grade level colleagues. It is important to have adult communication during the school day as well. Now, this is the slippery slope that teachers have to be careful with as well. There may be some “negative nellies” in your building that you come across on the teachers’ lounge or workroom. These are educators that have a negative outlook on almost anything. Try to avoid getting into conversations that seem to be going down a negative path. Instead, focus on the positive. It will make a huge difference on your attitude going forward the rest of the day.
Greet Students After Lunch
After the students have had a chance to eat lunch and hopefully have recess as well, make sure to greet them again as they come in the classroom. Show them that you are excited for the rest of the school day. Your attitude can determine how your students will react and perform during the next subject.
Care and Compassion Count
Now, we all know that issues can arise during the school day. Some can be as simple as a student not getting an assignment done, but others can be as bad as fighting on the playground or the use of inappropriate language. It is easy to get caught up in the misbehavior and let it negatively affect your attitude. But understanding which student misbehaved, the motivation behind it, and the discussion afterward can make all the difference. As much as you want to control everything, you have to let things go and understand why things happen. You must show care and compassion.
At the end of the day, it is important to take time to look back on the successes of the school day. This is extremely important on those days where you feel stressed out and tired. Just taking away one great thing each day does a lot for a positive attitude.
I would love to hear more ideas of how you can achieve a positive attitude as well!
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