Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Feelings Matter

"Mrs. H, you look happy at the end of the day," a blond short hair recalls.  I didn't know how to respond for a second.  "I think I try to look happy in the morning," I finally replied.  "Well, still, (you look) happier now than in the morning."  "OK, I am trying really hard tomorrow morning.  You will tell me if I am doing good job on that tomorrow, won't you?  Have a great evening."  We high-fived each other and departed to each direction.  To be honest, I was delighted that a little girl noticed my internal change and smiled.  Of course, everybody is happy after school, even if you like school so much.  But it is more than that.

Yes, I have been in a positive mode after a week long professional development, and telling people about being positive.   Being positive is contagious, as is negative.  If you are in the bad situation, you have to break through.  We, teachers, feel often guilty when our classrooms are not running well or test scores are less than others.  But do we really have to?  My answer is "Not me."  It is surely important to tackle with every day challenges, however, "guilt" is not the feeling you keep.  Think about it in this way; would feeling of guilty solve your problem that you are facing?  That is the similar phrase I use with my students.  "You sound like you are complaining about this problem.  You may continue complaining as long as it helps to solve your problem."  A frustrating face looks at me and says, "What do you mean?"  I explain, "Well, what do you think will help you solve your problem?"  No matter how young or old, solution is often inside of your self.  Many people just don't know how to use it.  Only a little shift of your feeling, you can guide yourself to the positive side of your life even if you are in the difficult situation.

Here is another story.  Before I gave math assignments to my students, I gave them options of working inside or outside in the sunshine.    "As long as you work independently, you can work outside on the grass," I announced.  About 30 minutes, two students broke the silence.  Kids went inside to finish their work until their recess.  I handed a note to these students.  It says, "Stay by the wall during recess."  One of them said, "I think it's an appropriate punishment."  Another student said, "I agree."  I had hard time keep myself calm, instead of jumping up and down and yelling, "YES!!!!"  This is the positive energy float I am talking about.  It is contagious. 

Maybe that's why I look happy at the end of the day.  Or other heartwarming episodes summed up my day.  Feelings Matter.  Be Positive.  Smile often.