What do you do to stay positive?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I had fallen into a very negative spiral recently, and it was causing me stress and heartache, and I realized I was being way more negative than I usually was and for some reason began to take things way too personally and react in very negative ways.

    I didn't like the way I was feeling and recognized that I needed to tackle my negativity, so I did the following: I made a list of all of the students I have been displeased with and who I felt were causing me a lot of stress and why they were on that list. Next to it, I made a list of all of the students who are actually awesome and I love having in my class or who at the very least worked hard in my class and I respected as hard-working students.

    In most cases the second list was longer than the first (with the exception of one class), but even if it wasn't, I think reminding myself of all of the awesome students reminded me why I was there for and who I promised to protect. Even the students I was not so fond of, after changing my focus away from them and onto the others, I found myself a little better able to forgive them and focus on their strengths or at the very least keep some distance between me and them. Overall, I am way less stressed than I have been in the past few weeks. I don't think I'm all the way there yet though, and my positivity still feels little precarious, but that worked for me.

    What do you guys do to stay positive and reduce stress during a stressful year?
     
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  3. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I'm trying my best to do a couple of things.

    First, unless I have to stay for something, I leave by a certain time. My current school is ridiculous with the things we have to stay after for, so at this point I refuse to stay after on the other days. When I leave that parking lot, I'm done with work. I make sure that I've checked my email and everything right before I leave.

    I also try to focus on things I have control over. This year has been especially rough with certain situations, so I'm still working on this. But, I try to focus my attention on the things I can actually do something about. The things I have no control over, I give myself a certain amount of time to do, do it to the best of my ability, and then move on.

    I'm also trying to get back into my hobbies. Reading, running. It's hard because I'm so tired.

    Lots of it is still a work in progress (and honestly, won't it always be a work in progress?!). It just hit me at one point in the year that, especially where I'm at, nothing will be good enough. For some reason that was more empowering that discouraging. I guess I took it as my cue to do what I thought was best for me. No one is going to put my first but myself, and I'm starting to do that. I do my job to the best of my ability while I'm there, and then I try to take care of myself at home.

    That turned into a long rambling list. Sorry!
     
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  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    I struggle with this. That curve that they tote out to the new teachers, of how winter is lowest time and then by spring you're going back up the curve, doesn't always work out: probably because I feel regretful of any slight area in which I wasn't able to help kids grow as much as I hoped.

    So I'm not someone who is highly successful with keeping myself in that positive mindset, but I will say this: keying in on those successes, and remembering the positive words from kids and parents, and remembering growth - academic and with life skills - trumps all. One of my kiddos won't be at standard, but they will have made progress from last year, and more importantly, have a far improved attitude towards learning in the classroom. If I focus on where they are at or where they might have been...I'll feel down. If I focus on that growth though, I find more positives.
     
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  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    For me the most important thing is to leave work at work and during my off time trying to do meaningful things.
    So in the afternoons I go to the gym, relax at home, and not plan or grade. This is kinda ok, if I could get out in the evenings a couple of times a week to meet up with friends, it would be better, but that's just not happening. maybe I need new friends. I get into a lazy streak during the week, and that's not helping, if I went for a walk with my dog every day in addition to the gym, I know I'd feel better.
    On the weekends, as much as weather permits, I go camping, so I'm gone Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. This definitely helps, and it feels like the weekday goes by very fast.

    This way I feel that this job is really just a job (although a job that I love), and it doesn't consume me and my life. We are just finishing spring break and I spent 4 days in Reno, not thinking about school for one day. Today I will do some planning, but overall l feel recharged and ready to go back to work.

    Something else that's important to me: if a kid is acting up and I don't handle it, or don't handle it the right way, it stays with me, and it can get me in a negative mood. Fortunately this doesn't happen a lot (in y first 2 years it did) Sort of like someone slapping you on the face, and you don't say a word, and then you're hurt about it. So I often rethink the way I handle things, to make sure I did issue a consequence or handled it (even if it's just talk with a student, and a final warning).
     
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  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Apr 16, 2017

    The other day, I walked into my house and thought, "If all these crazy kids and needy teachers didn't exist, I wouldn't have a job and therefore wouldn't be able to afford all the amenities I enjoy each day"

    Then, I felt better for a few minutes! LOL!
     
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  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I forgot to mention I also made a conscious effort to stay off of Facebook for a little while. (kinda failed at that today though).

    All of the political news has been getting to me as well.
     
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  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Groupie

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    Apr 16, 2017

    Laughter & wine! It helps.
    :rofl:
     
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  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Lol! I have started to drink beer again lately. It's a good stress reliever but it's terrible for my already suffering waist line. For the first time in my life, my jeans are starting to feel too tight. Lol! I have to get back into shape next year when I (if I) have more time.
     
  10. Janeway

    Janeway Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2017

    "Needy teachers," assuming that is a reference to you being an admin. That attitude is probably the source of many negative feelings about the job.


     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 16, 2017

    Thoughts of students and alcohol shouldn't fuel your mindset. Consider working out, a hobby, something outside of work that energizes you. Seek therapy if you don't have such an outlet. Be well
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    To be fair, as teachers we often see students as needy if not worse. I'm certain that his boss sees site admin as needy as well, and the next level above sees those below them as needy. I'm fine with being seen as needy as long as my needs are met.

    When I feel negative about admin is when they don't treat me like the professional I am, and decide to be condescending for no reason other than the fact that they see all teachers as unskilled labor or infantilize and mistrust them in matters of fulfilling their professional duties, which is certainly the case here in Oregon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Thanks! I am going to lay off the beer for a while. I wish I could make time to work out. I'm certain that time is there, but I'm away from my network of friends and supports now that I'm in a different state, and I usually relied on them for motivation to get me out and doing things to get my mind off of work.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Apr 16, 2017

    Actually getting to school early and sitting physically in their desk or table that they sit at, puts me in a much more compassionate and empathetic mind state.

    I also make sure I am listening to some really positive music that makes me feel good before school. Also, a really good book helps me to relax and get inspired before school...even if I only have 5-10 minutes before school.

    I also make sure I stay away from news and politics in the morning. I will check up with what is going on in the world after school or when I get home.

    Staying positive is so important, but such a challenge as a teacher. Good luck to you.
     
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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sometimes movies can get you back on track. I have Bad Teacher recorded and watch it again every few months. I'm being sarcastic here, she's not my role model, I do not wish to become a non-caring, weed smoking, embezzling teacher, but it is fun to watch and nice to fantasize about being a teacher like that, doing my thing and the kids all behave lol.

    The other day I caught Freedom Writers on tv, and recorded it. It's been a few years that I've watched it and it was nice to see it again. In fact, a few days later, I watched it again.
    I can't and won't compete with that teacher, I won't get 2 more jobs and divorce my husband (if I ever get another one lol), and will not defy my authorities, but it does reinforce the main idea why I'm doing what I'm doing: not to judge the kids, but somehow make them see that there is another way to live, other than drugs, gangs, crimes, selling your body, or accepting that you'd always have nothing to live for and live with.
    One of my favorite scenes is when she's trying to make the lesson relevant, and brings in Tupac Shakur lyrics, hoping the kids would care about poetry. And then she realizes they know more about him, and what he talks about than she'd ever know, and she knows nothing about their lives. They question her motives, her knowledge, everything, because like they say: students will only care about what you know when they know that you care. That was a turning point, when she realized that she needed to know them, only then she could reach them.

    I'm as white as that teacher is, almost all my students are minorities; we talk about racism and a lot of other controversial issues, but my students don't challenge me or question me, we have really good discussions, so I must be doing something right.

    Things like this keep me positive, even if a kid gets on my nerves and treats me in a way that is not deserved.
     
  16. rpan

    rpan Companion

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I try my best to never bring work home and I never ever check work emails at home either. It feels awful reading a nasty email at night and not being able to do anything about it until the morning. There has to be a separation between work and home otherwise I feel like even when I am home, I'm still at school.
    Speaking about movies that I watch to feel the passion again, I watch Dangerous Minds. My students are nowhere near as bad as that, and it reminds me that I just have to find a different way to connect. And it will happen, I just have to be patient.
    Finally, I try extremely hard to sleep for at least 9 hours, especially because I'm not a morning person. Even if that means I'm unsociable on the weekdays, that's my sacrifice. If I have enough sleep, I don't feel like I have to drag myself out of bed and it means I'm in a better state of mind to deal with the stresses of the day.
     
  17. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    I pick topics and books that interest me a lot. I think I communicate my own excitement and passion to the students, so that gets some of them similarly excited. I focus on how students are making progress and while I know the credit for the progress belongs to the student, I still believe I played a role in that progress. I compete against my own productivity and I focus on my own happiness rather than comparing myself to others. (I compare myself to others occasionally but minimize this.)
     
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  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'll change up the routine a bit. I may head outside for a period or two (math, independent reading, art, extra recess), This week, I've booked a half-day Science program for my class and we have a field trip coming up in early May. I'll teach things in a different way, using games and other collaborative activities for math or grammar lessons. My school has an Earth Week challenge planned for the upcoming week; doing some special events that will change things up a bit (and encourage some friendly competition) energizes us all.
     
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  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    Or TV shows/books! I'll fully admit I loved watching (despite its goofiness and silly plots) Girl Meets World, simply to follow Cory and his teachings that followed in the footsteps of Mr. Feeny. Fish in a Tree, a book, was another refreshing bit for me. There was a second recent TV show that had a teacher as a key character, but I can't remember what it was...
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I actually thought of Captain Picard as my teacher role-model. LOL. Make it so.
     
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  21. ms.irene

    ms.irene Devotee

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    I think sometimes we get stuck mentally on all the negatives we face. When I am feeling this way, I try to savor one good thing that happened that day. There must be at least one good thing each day. Take a moment and really let the details of that moment sink in. This is actually something I learned in therapy for my anxiety, since people prone to anxiety tend to get stuck on the negatives rather than the positives.
     

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