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Thursday, March 17, 2016

It's that time of year again

March. Spring break still feels miles away and everyone is at the end of their tether, students and teachers alike.

We are all stressed out. Third quarter is ending. Parent teacher conferences are looming. The weather is changing. Seniors are freaking out as graduation approaches. Behavior is bad; motivation is low.

The rays of sunshine in this dark time are rare and can be hard to catch.

Today, I caught a ray among the gloom.

Our school is facing a number of proposed changes next year: a 1:1 initiative, new start and end times, a new master schedule, state required student data as part of teacher evaluations to name a few.

As I was working in the copy room this morning, another teacher approached me.

He was recently accepted into a professional development program that is application only and wanted to follow up about funding (in my role as PD committee co-chair, I disperse a small budget).

I congratulated him and explained the process and potential impediments to funding as well as other learning opportunities that might be available.

We chatted on and then he said "You know what? I am excited about the changes next year."

"That's great," I said, "Which ones?"

"All of them," he replied simply, "I am excited that we are moving forward and making changes to help out students. If we can all get on the same page, the changes are going to be awesome. I am especially excited about 1:1"

And just like that, my day was made.

We all complain. We all complain more this time of year. I am guilty and I can find the silver lining on a tornado. Ron Clark was the keynote speaker at a conference I attended a few weeks ago. He told us, we should tell people who are negative to "just shush."

That is HARD. It is easier to get sucked in and become a part of the negativity pattern.

It caught be surprise when this teacher expressed unreserved and complete enthusiasm about the changes we are going to experience. Change is scary, uncomfortable, and often brings out the worst in people.

Most of us can find some positives, but total upside is rare and awesome.

So this two minute encounter was the best moment in my day. I hope he reads this and recognizes that today, he was my good thing.

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