Finishing the Year Strong: Focusing on Positivity & Optimism

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Think about the feelings you have when you are frustrated about something involving teaching. Maybe it's an email from an irate parent. Or, it could be the expectations to complete hours of assessments in a short time frame. What the heck? Didn’t anyone think this through? How can I be expected to get this all done AND teach my kids? You might get hot and begin to feel butterflies in your stomach. You reach out to a colleague and they are just as upset as you are. Do you feel better after venting? Or does it fire you up more?


"Optimism. It's not just a mind-set, it is behavior." - Larry Elder


We are huge believers in the POWER of OPTIMISM and that thinking positively is an intentional choice. This choice has the ability to dramatically change your life for the better. When we fall into the complaining trap with colleagues, our focus is taken away from the important work of supporting kids. Does this mean we can’t be frustrated and problem solve with a teammate? Nope. It just means you can’t stay stuck in the negativity. You have to have a plan to move forward.

Looking back on this last school year, we have experienced many tough situations. Learning new technology, trying to connect with students virtually, and support our own families has not been easy. It has been easy to focus on the negative, to want to give up and to feel defeated. We need to acknowledge those feelings, but not sit in them. So much of our experiences as educators has been out of our control, but we can control how we CHOOSE to respond.

You may be thinking this is easier said than done. You are correct! Eventually, we all end up in a place where we feel overwhelmed and down right negative. Here are a few strategies we use to help flip the switch from negative to positive:

  • Find your person: The person you can talk to that listens, understands, and extends encouragement.

  • Focus on gratitude: Start with finding 3 things you’re grateful for. Big or small things work. Good hair days, a rockin dinner, or a special friend in your life, are a great start to getting out of a funk.

  • Stay student centered: They are the reason you got into teaching. Get the focus off you and your frustrations, and focus on the mission of supporting kids.

  • Advocate for yourself: Reach out to your administrator or teammate. Be prepared to answer the question “What do you need.” As educators, we attempt to do it all. Allow others to step in and share the load.

There is no doubt the last weeks of school will be stressful and tiring. Kids are ready for summer, and so are we. Hopefully, by using these strategies, your heart and mind will feel a little lighter, and you can be fully present for your students. Look for the good in this crazy rewarding profession, and you will find it.


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