Be Content and Positive – Fountain of Youth Vial #4

Be content.
Doug Johnson at the Blue Skunk Blog said this on Monday:

Play the hand you’re dealt. It doesn’t pay to waste a lot of energy bemoaning one’s fate, dwelling on what one doesn’t have. It makes more sense to spend one’s time figuring out how to leverage the assets available. Yeah, we could always use more computers, more bandwidth, a better book budget, and more personnel, (along with more time, more intelligence). And we should work for these things. But until Santa comes, a heck of a lot of fun can be had and good can be done in meeting challenges with the resources on hand. If you wait for the perfect conditions, you’ll spend your life waiting.

His whole entry on Monday has to do with this contentment. One of the greatest joys is doing work worth doing! Things will never be perfect. Yes, we should always push and strive for more. There is nothing worse than a whiner that can't do anything today because of wishing for tomorrow.

I'm excited that we just received a $40,000 for a new computer lab! I have five year old Pentium II's but I tell you what — I've gotten a lot out of them. I've rebuilt them and all but one of the original 22 computers are still working and chugging along!

Keep your positive attitude!
Try not to talk about the things that upset you today or got you angered. You're going to dig yourself into a hole that will ruin your weekend and your Magnificent Monday. Talk about what really got you excited! Focus on the positive!

Some educators need to play PacMan because that is what they do to everyone. They devour everyone and give them a good “chewing out.” No one learns anything from a crabby teacher except what NOT to be in a teacher!

This may sound simplistic but its me — I do not walk into my classroom unless I can honestly say that I love each one of my students. No, not like I love my own kids. But I have to love them as a fellow human being with just as much right to a good life as I have. They have their own dreams, emotions, skills, and purpose that they were called for.

Focus on the student who is turning around! Remember why you got into this business! Protect your positive attitude.

Do you know anyone that you never ask “How is your day?” You know that they'll say “I'm just barely making it.” Then they'll launch into a plethora of ills and problems that plague their life and threaten their existence.

New “happiness” research shows that each of us pretty have a happiness “setpoint”. Money, relationships, change of situation — they don't make a person happier for long. Eventually, we all go back to our “set point.”

That new computer lab isn't going to make me happy. I'm happy now with my wikispaces, Dreamweaver 4.0, Office XP, Photoshop that chokes when I try to print, and harddrive that fills up! I'll have a whole new set of issues then but I'll be happy then too!

In Conclusion

As a teacher, I think the fountain of youth is closer to us than to most. It goes in and out our door every day. It leaves paper on the floor. It forgets its textbook in its locker. It is late to class. If we can remember to add variety , be observant , be human , be positive and content we've gone a long way to being an excellent teacher and reinvigorating our own lives. Life is too short to go through it with a sour face wishing for a tomorrow that may never come. As classroom teachers, we must make the best of today to educate the kids that fill our seats now!

(Hold on I have two more “vials” to go.)

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

teacher dude February 17, 2006 - 7:38 am

Dear Vicki,

Thank you for your comment. I hope the blog helps you in some way. I was just looking at your latest entry on Cool Cat Teacher Blog and I have to say that I completely agree with your ideas on being positive with what you have.

In terms of technology there is an enormous amount of mileage in virtually any computer system, even if it just means taking it apart to see how it works without fear of messing it up.

Also, I love teaching since nine times out of ten I leave the class feeling a lot more positive than when I went in. You can’t say that about most jobs.


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