"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are you too negative?

Are you too negative? Listening to the news, thinking about teacher evaluations, and dealing with the stressors of life can find us all feeling drained and negative about what each day offers.

I would like to offer some thoughts that I heard in a message at church a couple of weeks ago. You may not be religious...don't worry, this message is very practical no matter what your beliefs.

Statistics says that the average person is guilty of speaking in a 6:1 ratio of negative comments vs. positive comments. That made me stop and think! Am I guilty of spreading a negative attitude in a world that I believe is dying for encouragement and hope? I know I need to  hear more positive comments to stay afloat, and I don't think I am alone. I don't want to be found guilty of that ratio, rather the reverse. I believe that goes for when I am dealing with my coworkers, as well as the children that I come in contact with each day.

Students come into our classrooms each day with baggage that we can't possibly see inside completely. We have no idea what went on before they left for school. I hope that we will all meet them with a smile first. Just think about it...we are all driven by a need for encouragement. Truett Cathey, founder of Chik-fil-a, has built his business around several principles, one of which is, people need encouragement. He says, "if they are breathing they need encouragement." I believe that is soooo...TRUE!

Today, think about what comes out of your mouth. Take time to make sure your ratio of comments is more positive than negative. Avoid those negative people. Offer a positive, uplifting comment before you leave. If nothing else, you will feel yourself less drained.

Eric Jensen in his book, Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do about It, he mentions that children need hope. If you take away their hope, their efforts will decline. We have to do things in our classroom that build hope and encouragement.

Let positive words flow from our mouths, and let a smile be the first thing people notice.

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