Beware of the Ants of Annoyance

So many times it is the little things that really get our ire.

Today, for me, it was a steady marching stream of tiny little insect-like annoyances.  And wham, before I knew it, these annoyances swarmed to steal my joy and my enjoyment of what I was doing!

Ants can kill in swarms.

And so can little, petty annoyances if allowed to fester, get you angry, and bite at your enjoyment.

For many teachers it is the relentless paperwork.

Today,a fellow teacher  here who left the public school system, shared her “swarm.”  She left teaching there largely because of the disdainful way she was treated by the state because her school wasn't meeting AYP.  She said it was humiliating and that people who had NEVER been in the classroom talked to her like she was not a professional!  She is a great teacher and had been there two years!!

Another teacher said it was the mainstreaming that really got her — students who really belonged separate or couldn't read and were in Middle School.  Swarm!

Now, to say all of these are petty annoyances is to diminish the severity of what is happening.   But, as administrators and fellow teachers we must watch for the marching ants — for when they swarm, it can mean the end of careers, employment, and even, much worse, the love of teaching and hope.

See what these things are.  For truly, when ants swarm, they are no longer a minor annoyance… they are fatal.

What are the ants in your life?  In your school?  Can you get rid of them for yourself or others?

Brush these annoyances off our lapel and realize that although some people are petty, professionals are not. 

We must crush the ants that come our way by action, a positive attitude, and NOT letting them bother us!   The worst thing we can do is to become a petty annoyance for another.

And pettiness passed along to another just becomes more pettiness.

Boy, I wish I'd listen to myself sometimes because gosh, I am petty WAY too often.  But every time it happens, I feel a little less of a person.  Pettiness only diminishes the person who is petty.

So, today, take a look at the annoyances.  Are they minor ants that should be squished in your fingers or are they beginning to swarm and a sign of an issue that should be dealt with?  Take actions today.  Do not let the ants of annoyance march on.

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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

eduguy101 February 13, 2009 - 11:15 am

We all have ants, and sometimes its easy to ignore them, feeling they are small annoyances. This blog is a great reminder that these little pests can easily build up to a larger problem. We do need to handle them quickly, as they impact the entire school.

The balance between squashing the ants and preventing the ant is very important. Visibility, promoting the positive and taking a stand are the best weapons the school administrators have tp deal with this.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere