Noticing and sharing our wins

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.

One night earlier this week, I came across this blog post, 9 habits of super positive people by @marcandangel. I highly recommend you have a look.

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.

 

Sharing the positives

 

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.

Starting action

The idea of writing my own blog has been rattling around in my head for over a year now. I’m an avid reader of blogs, a consumer instead of a producer. I regularly read and see blog posts about the importance of blogging for educators. Here are a few that I’ve re-read on many occasions and all confirm the benefits of blogging as a reflective tool.

As I found these posts again, I noticed they were all written sometime in 2011. I read them in 2011 and saved them in diigo to re-read, thinking they’d kick me into creating my own. Interestingly, I don’t seem to have saved any from this year – I’m thinking maybe I’ve stopped reading any posts that look like they’ll reaffirm the power of blogging and as a result, remind me again that I’m yet to act on my intention.

But I heard something recently and it seems to be the push I needed. I am involved in the Education Changemaker program and the idea that

intentions without actions are worthless

was explored and really hit me. I have the intentions (to create a blog, to do this with my students, to do that with staff … the list goes on and on) and I think about these intentions constantly but I’m not taking it any further – I’m not acting. Aaron and Dave also encouraged us to

don’t worry, be crappy

So – here goes. This push comes at a great time. My learning over the past few weeks has been exponential. Crazy. So much is happening here. So much learning. So much thinking.

It’s time to start reflecting. 

I hope that by spending time reflecting and writing about my experiences, my thoughts, my challenges and my new understandings, I will continue to improve as an educator. Having this space to record and reflect, I believe, will help move my intentions to actions.

I hope, as Steve Wheeler said in 2011, blogging will raise my game.