Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5th

This definitely started my day out on a positive note. Perhaps not so positive for Cool Cat, as he managed to get himself locked in the first grade classroom all night long, but my friend Katie and I found it very amusing!

Today was my first day back to work with students in attendance. I had written my lesson plans; I knew what I wanted to get done today. But I wasn't exactly sure how I would begin my day. I hadn't seen these kids in a couple of weeks, after all. I started to feel myself stressing out about it, but kept the positive self-talk going. "You'll figure this out...you always do!" Then, as we were standing out at morning assembly, it finally hit me. I knew exactly what I was going to do to start my day! I would tell them about my two new projects for the year, including this blog.

We started with a question for their journals: "Are you a 'the glass is half-empty or half-full' kind of person?" When I asked for any volunteers that might want to share, the only people who raised their hands were the 'glass is half-full' people. Interesting. Then I fessed up that I've always been a 'glass is half-empty' kind of person which surprised a number of kids. And that surprised me!! I guess I assumed everyone would pick up on this horrific black cloud that follows me everywhere.

Then I asked my seventh graders to think of one positive thing from their weekend and to write it down in their journal. No problem getting volunteers to share these! My favorite share came from Michael who had played Pictionary for the first time over the weekend with family. He and his cousin were paired up for the game, and let's just say...they didn't do so well. But, he added, "We had the best time, laughing!"

Thank you, Michael, for the perfect example of a "glass is half-full" kind of mentality!

My students don't know it yet, but I'll be asking them tomorrow for one positive moment or idea from today. I think we should start blogging these ideas...every day! The idea makes me happy!

There were a few times during the day where I started to feel a bit on the negative side (the copier was busy, or I brought the wrong papers over to be copied, or someone was in the bathroom when I really needed it. A couple of times during the day I needed to have a little chat with myself and remind me, "Remember, we're thinking positively. Go for the positive side today. Don't fall back into negativity...look at the bright side!" [Ok, I couldn't help myself when I was explaining my new strategy to my students...when I said something about looking on the bright side, I actually started singing, "Always look on the bright side of life..." Thankfully, none of them knew that it was from Monty Python!]

I had several positive moments throughout my day, everything from trying to snap a picture of the elusive eighth grade girl with new glasses (have you ever heard a McTeach giggle? I'm told I sound like Scooby Doo...I can't believe I just admitted that) to a fifth grade boy stopping to hold the door open for me to having a staring contest with one of my seventh grade boys (I lost when he let out an "Oh, holy crap!" and I started laughing!)

All in all, I'd say that's not bad for a first day back...wouldn't you agree?

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