I had some wonderful days at school this week. They came at just the right time after a couple of very challenging weeks with my class. Having these positive experiences absolutely makes me a better colleague around my peers and a better teacher and carer for my students. These awesome days still had their trying times throughout, but at the end of the day it was the small wins that had me still smiling and feeling positive for what tomorrow would bring.
When the challenges of a day far outweigh the positives you experience, it is easy to ignore or in fact, not really notice them at all. It’s easy to succumb to feelings of frustration and deflation. In such complex environments, this can be common practice, particularly when you hold high expectations for yourself.
They start by saying that “life is full of positive experiences. Notice them”. I think that noticing requires sustained effort to be aware of and reflective about what you are experiencing. Often in our hectic daily lives as teachers, noticing the positive experiences in a crazy day when you are facing significant ongoing challenges is difficult. Sometimes it is easier to walk into the staff room at the end of the day and say “gee that was a hard day, guess what happened…” and if this is a common thread across your school, much time can be spent debriefing on the negative experiences of the day. While having the space and support to do this is very important for our wellbeing, I think we need to be sharing our wins for the day equally if not more so.
No matter how small they are, we must notice and share what went well, what made us smile, what made our students smile, what we felt proud of or what our students showed pride in that day. Articulating these wins fills our space with positivity – it puts them out there for others to smile at and delight in. It shares with your peers what is possible and what could happen tomorrow. It reminds us of why we are here and reignites our passion and commitment to build on these successes the following day. Instead of leaving school that day with burdened shoulders, we can leave with hope for a positive tomorrow because these wins exist and they will happen again. Indeed, it will make habit number 1 that much easier ~ wake up every morning with the idea that something wonderful is possible today.
I loved reading Kathryn Trask‘s post ‘Savouring the Small Moments’ where she shares the experiences that week which warmed her heart. What a wonderful way to celebrate the positive moments from the week.
Our staff room now has a space to share our wins. It has been lovely seeing staff sharing and celebrating with each other.
Are you noticing the positive experiences that fill your day? How are you sharing them?
Importantly, how are your students sharing their successes?
I’d love to hear from you.