Positivity amongst teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by queen_of_the_north, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. queen_of_the_north

    queen_of_the_north New Member

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    Oct 31, 2019

    Hi,

    I would like to know what other schools are doing to foster a more positive environment for their teachers. We are currently working on making our school and staff have a more positive outlook on ALL students. There are many teachers that like to gripe about the kids, but it is not constructive. Our students come from various home lives that are out of our control (ie: alcoholism, drug abuse, violence etc.). Some parents are absent from their children's lives, and school is where they can receive guidance from the adults (teachers, admin, education assistants, social worker etc.). Our classrooms have a wide-range of learners, which ultimately makes it difficult for teachers, as well as absenteeism is very high.

    My question is, how do we foster more positivity into our teachers, so that our students can experience a positive role model, as well as having the school as their safe haven?

    Thank you for your suggestions.
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Oct 31, 2019

    First the teachers need to be supported and feel like they have a safe working environment. They need to be treated as professionals by administration. It's difficult to be positive you have a poor working environment. Start with that and positivity will come more easily.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 31, 2019

    I have found that the years that I make positive phone calls home to parents, I have a more positive outlook on my students. Years that I don't have time to, for whatever reasons, I am more negative.
     
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  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Nov 1, 2019

    Yes! I agree, 100%

    I also try to verbally express positive statements to students. It doesn't have to be something spectacular that the student does. "That's clever," or "That's a good idea" is a thousand times more productive than any criticism.

    Another idea, I collect the front of greeting cards I receive, and recycle them to write positive notes to the student to share with her/his parent(s).
     
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  6. queen_of_the_north

    queen_of_the_north New Member

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    Nov 1, 2019

    That is definitely something that we will communicate to our teachers to try. I know I used to do this when I was in the classroom, and it does really help. It also makes reluctant parents build a better relationship (even a relationship at all!) with the teacher.

    It is very hard to change the mindset of some teachers, as they have been in the profession for so long, and are getting burnt out. Their own personal lives also effects their thinking, and unfortunately, you can feel it in the aura of their classroom.

    Any more suggestions or ideas are always welcome! Thanks everyone.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I assumed you were an administrator from your first post. What are the administrators of your school doing to foster positive thinking?
     
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  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm not good with phone calls, but this year I sent positive "introduction" emails to all of the parents within the first 2 weeks of school and I've emailed several parents with little tidbits of good news. I want the kids, and families, to know that I try to be as vocal about the good stuff as I am about the not-so-good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I second a learning environment where teachers feel like professionals. It's very hard to be a positive role model when you don't feel valued and respected.

    Are teachers being unnecessarily micromanaged? Are their ideas valued?
     
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  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 1, 2019

    My school administrators provide PD on things like being trauma-informed and restorative practices. Like with most PDs, teachers rolls their eyes and show little interest. However, by requiring the PD and related practices, it provides the background knowledge and sets the expectation that teachers will engage in those practices. While it may not create a completely positive culture, it does lead to teachers being sensitive to students' needs and home lives. There is less complaining about students because we understand where our students are coming from, and we know the expectations from the administrators are high. If we're not on board, we are free to leave.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Nov 2, 2019

    1. Trust teachers to do their jobs. Realize that you may not have had as much experience as your "burnt out" teachers. Many could be the source of answers to you.
    2. Treat teachers with respect. It goes a long way. How can admin expect positivity if they are always looking for fault in teachers? If admin is not listening or helping to find solutions when needed, teachers are not going to feel very positive towards them. The admin needs to be looking for strengths. They set the tone.
    3. I worked for top notch admin for many yrs. They'd make a habit of rotating in and out of rooms with "cheerful looking" notepads. They'd write what you were teaching and leave some positive comments on it weekly. You can bet teachers were more likely to have a positive attitude towards everything when they felt appreciated.
    4. Also, they'd place you in areas of strength that would help the school/ kids. They didn't just have people sitting on committees to be , "Yes, men or women."
    4. Back teachers instead of being afraid to stand up to the system. There are things done in our schools that are so wrong and teachers (as well as most) know it. They know when admin is too afraid to speak the truth or make waves. When the group stands together to do what is right, you'll get more positive attitudes. Like Aces school stuck together to save a needed program.
    5. The attitude if you don't like it, leave....is a bad 1 in my opinion. It only gets teachers who need a job, to comply. They will not offer solutions that go against the grain. ( Often these solutions are needed to make a program work w/ a certain population.)
    I taught for many yrs and am doing something different this yr. I am getting out of the system because I am tired. I am tired of what is being allowed to go on in our schools. I am tired of all of the dishonesty that goes on in schools. It took me yrs to realize a lot of what teachers struggle w/ the most these days is about money, not the kids and their education.
    When I 1st started teaching, we could ask to do about anything. Admin would ask us: Is it in the best interest of the kids? If you could answer, "Yes!" ,it was approved.

    So if you really want to get rid of your older teachers, give them a scripted program, evaluate them with some ridiculous form, and tell them to test kids to death. Then provide zero discipline in the school, no chance for creativity, dump ED kids into regular classrooms, and take away all consequences for poor behavior. Just say, " It is what it is" or "That's the job..." to teachers who want to help kids have better futures.
    Our public schools are being destroyed by people who want to see everything through rose colored glasses.
    I spent the last week meeting with parents. It was fascinating/ enlightening with what some of them told me. The majority of their complaints had to do with things teachers were "mandated " to do. The majority of compliments were directly tied to teachers who were flexible enough to realize some mandated program was not working for their child and had the guts to go against the grain and do what was needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 2, 2019

    Amen.
     
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  13. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Nov 3, 2019

    I would model it from the top. Administration, be positive about your teachers. Compliment them. Look for good things they are doing. Encourage them when you see them doing right. Ask their opinions and ideas when it's relevant, and you can implement those ideas. Treat them like professionals.

    I'm at a new school this year. For every new teacher, the principal visits their classroom every single week (usually for 5 minutes or less) and writes a note with only positive feedback. Every week, he tells us what we are doing well. He says he gives no constructive criticism until the second year. We can ask for advice or suggestions for the things we are struggling with.
     

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