I understand the irony of the following statement. I also understand that I am in no position to judge or ridicule anyone for it.
I need to stay away from complainers.
It's so easy to fall into the trap of complaint when things don't go exactly as they should. Perhaps the schedules aren't as perfect as they could be, perhaps the kids aren't as prepared or attentive as they could be, perhaps a cloud moved in front of the sun when you wanted to get a tan. All of these things are out of the control of the faculty and staff.
People complain for many reasons. It might be to assert some power over a situation where they are powerless, to distance themselves from consequences when things don't go as planned, to build camaraderie with those who are also "in the trenches," or just to hear themselves assert their own superiority of intellect in a given situation.
I am guilty of all of these things, and more. I have spent WAY too much of my time and energy whining about "injustices" done to me or my students. I have railed against organizations and people who are CLEARLY stupid and don't know how to do anything right and should probably just put me in charge.
But this is all nonsense. Regardless of my schedule, the student schedules, the phases of the moon, the preponderance of land-breezes versus ocean-breezes, I have no control over any of that.
I only have control over me.
I am choosing not to get bent out of shape about things that normally would bother me. Are they annoying? Yes.
Can I change them by being annoyed? No.
I don't have control over my coworkers and I know enough to know that I DON'T want to be the one who walks around telling everyone to be chipper.
What I CAN do is choose with whom I spend, or don't spend, my time. I truly do have some incredible coworkers. They are supportive, creative and dedicated. Many of them are also overwhelmed and frustrated.
So I offer my help and a smiling face whenever I can, greeting colleagues in the hallway regardless of how, or if, they respond. Every person is fighting their own battle and I'm aiming to not take it personally if I don't get the response I am looking for.
I am staying in my room, with the door open and welcoming, but I'm being very careful about whom I seek out. Complaining has its place and can be very cathartic, but I feel as though it's not what I need right now.
After the long break, now that they are starting to get comfortable in school again, some of the rowdiness is coming back to the students. I noticed many more of them to be very distracted and having side conversations today than last week. The layout of the room is going to take some getting used to on my part since I normally walk around when I talk and now there are lab tables in the way.
I'm really enjoying the diversity in my classes in terms of types of questions they ask. Some of the classes keep asking about colonizing planets while others want to know how planets are formed. They are keeping me on my toes and I'm VERY quickly getting out of my depth for general knowledge.
Time to read more...
I stuck around after school to help some of the Physics kids work on dimensional analysis. The more I talk to the students, the more I like them. I liked the 8th graders, but the level of maturity is monumentally different and it's wonderful.
I suppose it makes sense that I would rather spend time with the students than with the adults.
Also, I am LOVING the chat feature from Remind. My message to my students today contained a question and in the chat, we are discussing answers and strategies.
I think some amazing things are going to happen this year.
OMG, this is so true. I too have realized I need to be rather ruthless about not allowing complainers to suck up my life energy.ReplyDelete
Thank you for today's inspiration!!!
- Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)