Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Looking for the positive

I’ve been working on my attitude of late – too much negativity was being focused on, not enough positive. A conversation with a friend, dinner with Chris, and preparing for the March Slice of Life challenge all served to remind me of the awesome stuff all around me. The small moments that are often overlooked.

My goal today (Tuesday) was to spend the day looking for the good in the everyday and see how my attitude was at the end of the day. Here’s what I noticed:

·      My students came in this morning still talking about the fact that I went roller-skating with them in PE the day before. Twenty minutes out of my prep seems like a small price to gain this much positive feedback. Planning to go again with them Wednesday.

·      I love teaching siblings in families. I taught a boy named Jacob years ago. At the time I did “Star of the Week” and the kids would bring in a book for me to read. Jake brought in Everybody Poops, mainly because he didn’t think I would read it. Challenge accepted. Love that book. His brother, Josh, is in my class this year and brought it in today. I gladly sat down on the carpet to read it with my students. A one-hump camel makes a one-hump poop. A two-hump camel makes a two-hump poop. Only kidding. Great way to begin the day. Lots of laughter. Thanks, Josh!

·      Mailed a book to a friend at lunchtime. Margie has been beyond generous with me this year. It made me smile to send a book on to her.

·      During lunch I got to catch up with two teachers on my floor. One happens to be very dramatic when acting out conversations. Any time we catch up I typically find myself bent over, gasping for breath as I laugh. Rejuvenating.

·      At the end of the day I got to catch up with another colleague as we discussed Diane Ravitch’s recent post about CCSS. While the topic wasn’t uplifting, I realized how grateful I am to have folks I can have these conversations with. I left our chat feeling positive. There is a lot of good in education – my colleague is proof of it, as are so many of you.

·      Liam and I headed to run errands for my mom. We made jokes the whole way to the store, her house, back to the store to get something else for her, back to her house. As he and I made silly faces in the rearview mirror, I realized I was calmer than I had been in weeks.

·      I came home to this beautiful card from Brenda Power with a note about a recent article I’ve written for Choice Literacy. I don’t think it is any secret that I would love to write a book one day. Last year my resolution was to begin to move toward that goal. This blog – and writing regularly was one step. Trying to write for Choice Literacy was another. I finally began doing that in June and have written about twelve articles for them since then. I do feel like I’m headed in the right direction. Notes from Brenda really brighten my day.

·      A dear friend sent me this beautiful necklace in the mail. She gave me another gift by thinking I was turning 35 on Wednesday. That made me smile. The necklace was just the kindest gesture. Thank you.

And as I sat down to type this all out, the smell of cupcakes wafting out of the oven – ready to take to school for my students tomorrow, I listened. Bally was pacing the kitchen, looking for scraps of food. Luke and Liam were playing in the living room. My iPhone was beeping from texts from good friends. Chris came in to ask me a question. I had to smile. Life is good. When I’m in my grouchiest moods I just need to stop and realize that. I look forward to tomorrow. I’m thinking turning 39 is going to rock. It will be a good year.