Positive v Negative
If there is one thing I have learned as a headteacher is that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook is something that doesn’t always come easy but is probably the most powerful tool to have in your toolkit.
In the last few years, the education has probably seen more change than any other sector. The constant barrage of negative press proclaiming the failure of schools in educating our young people, combined with the fact that everybody and his dog has a opinion on how to improve schools, just breeds a constant negativity that is beyond anything else that I am aware of.
The number of teachers that avoid, when asked, “and what do you do for a living?” is astonishingly high. Why might this be? What is it that causes of this type of response?
Well, unfortunately, I believe the answer lies in the profession itself. Everywhere you look there are images, blogs, tweets, posted by teachers that paint a picture of working in a school as being not too dissimilar than being punished. The countdown to the weekend or the next school holiday, the images of a bedraggled person managing to survive the tortures of the week, the oversized wine glasses celebrating getting to the end or maybe commiserating the pains of a week in school.
It has shocked me over the last few weeks to see the number of very influential educational bloggers getting sucked into this mindset. Taking along with them their followers in their hoards all promoting what a miserable job they see to be in.
If we, the profession, are happy to promote this image then we should not be shocked when teachers are portrayed in the press as a bunch of whingers who do nothing but moan unless they are on one of their long and regular holiday period.
I am proud of the job I do. I believe that teaching is possibly the most important job of all. I feel huge privilege to play a part on shaping the lives of our children and hopefully making a difference to others. To be able to support a child as they begin to understand the world around them helping them to become independent thinkers, problem solvers, policy makers of the future.
Of course, it is not always easy -there are many challenges working in schools and we may even begin to question why we do it some days (see one of my previous blogs) but if one enters each day just waiting for it to be over then may I suggest it may be the wrong job?
Each day the children are welcomed into school by a member of SLT with a smile and a cheery “good morning”. This is crucial in seeking the time and atmosphere for the day.
A simple smile and a positive comment makes all the difference.
Of course difficult and serious conversations are to be had but in a job that is difficult enough a contagious positivity rather than the distructive negativity goes such a long way.
Life is too short and our influence on othes is great. Let’s pass a smile and share the joys of being a teacher rather than cling onto the woes and moans of the mood hoovers.