Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Listen: It's About Attitude

My word for this year is LISTEN. I'm working on listening and responding as I teach and learn.

This school year has been hard. I have not regretted the decision to move in a new direction, but I have struggled from time to time. As I reflected and listened and read in early January, one message came through loudly. I need to check my attitude. Attitude and expectation make a big difference in each day.

So, as a result of that message, I began each morning choosing to be grateful for whatever happened that day. I pray each morning, "God, whatever happens today, I will thank you for it." And I discovered something truly eye-opening: I haven't had a horrible day since.

Oh, yes, I do have some challenges. I do get impatient. Students do push against the rules and stray (or bound) off task. But, when I encounter these things, I think, "I'm thankful for this." I try to find something that will be a positive result - at least I know something that won't work or something that needs to be rethought. Every time I learn something...and I certainly can be grateful for that.

I am not a Pollyanna - I don't think that everything that happens is wonderful and happy. But, at the end of the day, when I reflect back on the day, I truly feel that each day has been a good day (or at least an okay day). I don't drive home thinking about how difficult things were. I no longer think that I'm failing. And I know that next year things will be so much better.

The main thing that changed is my outlook. Attitude makes a difference.

(And, I can translate that to my kids. If I can help them have a mostly positive attitude, they will do better work and be more motivated. How to do that? I don't know but I'm thinking, reflecting...and listening!)

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