“Research has shown that most people choose negative and use up to 80 percent of their days preoccupied with unproductive thoughts…Choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”
-Coyte G. Cooper, Ph. D. -Make Your Mark
By Wednesday I had professed that I was having a crappy week. I felt like bad stuff just kept happening. The week consisted of a few angry parents, kids and families in crisis, the lack of substitutes for professional days, a student who said he wanted to kill himself, phone calls from the lawyers of parents in nasty custody battles, and more. I seemed to have forgotten that I had a choice. I allowed myself to get bogged down in the negative. I could have chosen to find the good in the situations that occurred, but instead I complained; I rolled my eyes; I had a “woe is me” attitude. I was exhausted. Everything felt chaotic.
I shared my frustrations with a good friend and colleague of mine. To my surprise, bright and early the next morning he showed up in my office with hot chocolate for my secretaries and me. He told us that he hoped we had a better day. Those few kind words and that small act of kindness changed my mindset. When my mindset changed I was able to see the good in the events I encountered. That small act of kindness allowed me to reflect on the week and realize that a lot of good came out of every situation:
-The angry parents just cared about their kids and needed an explanation. Then everything worked out.
-The family in crisis had just moved to our school from a terribly unsafe situation. We were able to help them get back on their feet with new coats, new clothes and connections to resources they needed.
-We rescheduled our professional development.
-We kept a child safe and made parents aware of how sad their son was. We were able to direct them to resources so they could help their child.
In the midst of a bad day or a bad moment it is hard to stay positive. It’s a skill that I need to build. Positivity is powerful. Small acts of kindness are powerful, too. This week I learned so much. I’m thankful for the difficult situations that helped me grow. And, I’m thankful that my friend Herb reminded me that the littlest gesture can make a big impact.
Spread a little joy. Choose positive.
I hope my blog posts inspire risk taking and new ways of thinking. I hope to connect with other educators on our journey to always do what's best for children.