....Happiness is a Choice or that
Stay Positive by Staying Out
of The Teacher's Lounge!
And some days, it's an EFFORT! LOL I'm going into MAP testing season tomorrow, so I'll be having my waitress smile on most of the day. Yes, I was a waitress in my 20's when I needed 2 jobs to live in Downtown Baltimore...one of the best experiences of my life! Taught me how to fake it, till you make it, stay positive, let things roll off my back, and keep smiling. (Even when inside I sometimes wanna let the expletives fly!) All great training to be a middle school teacher!
Don't Be a Funpire!
Anyway, in my 23+ years of teaching I have noticed that sometimes the environment in a school can lean toxic if you LET IT. Stay out of the teacher's lounge! It's where great ideas go to DIE. It's where bright innovative ideas, positivity & teacher collaboration is looked upon with either distrust, askance, or worse, mockery. This is where the Debbie Downers and Toxic Teds hang out. You know, the funpires. They suck the fun out of life! So stay outta there! Me? I usually eat my lunch alone in our TV studio reading TV recaps, BRAVO blogs, and celebrity gossip. That centers me. I NEED quiet for at least 30 min in the middle of the day to be centered. Don't judge me. ;-) Here's an idea:
Reclaim The Teacher's Lounge!
Watch my AWESOME CUE, friend Mike Lawrence talk about this and collaboration.
I love the Yes, and bit! I was also a community theatre kid, too! Brainstorm collaboration ideas with other teachers and give them a chance to say "Yes, and" how about this? This is also a great technique to brainstorm and crowdsource with our kiddos for the start of a project or product! Give it a try! Thanks Mike for a truly inspiring TEDx talk!
Collaborate Generously IRL or VRL!
OK, but what if you feel all alone and your school is a toxic place when it comes to collaborating innovative new ideas and the thought of reclaiming the teacher's lounge it is either exhausting or impossible? Why not seek out the virtual teachers lounge that is Twitter? And bonus!... it's a positive place! Just last night one our awesome Twitter PLN, Kim Thompson shared this AMAZING book review project idea that she did with her kiddos using QR Codes and Google Docs! Here's how it went down!
Just brilliant! Using creative posters, GAfE, & #QRCodes to display & share book reviews! #EngChat #TLChat https://t.co/XPD0LR80i9— The Daring Librarian (@GwynethJones) September 19, 2015
Which led me to, of course, comment on her excellent blog and then share it out!
Just Brilliant. Full stop! #CCSS & #ISTE aligned #QRCode Book Review Project! W00t! Thank you! #TLChat #EngChat https://t.co/tLdGZZhexH— The Daring Librarian (@GwynethJones) September 20, 2015
I could TOTALLY see the above lesson involve a collaboration with your friendly neighborhood Teacher Librarian, ELA and your Art teacher! All three subjects working together & empowering student creativity and artistic talents and giving the kiddos a display gallery space for those products! Brilliant!
Visiting the Virtual Teacher's lounge of Twitter where sharing IS caring and people are supportive and positive is a good thing! Use a combination of your favourite Education hashtags! #TLChat, #EngChat, #SSChat, or whatever fits best! You can also collaborate virtually! Why not try: Google Hangouts? Skype an Author or classroom? QR Codes? Vine? or Instagram?
Choose Share, share, share, and collaborate your awesome ideas for true education happiness!
Defend Our Kiddos
Part of the what I hated most about the negativity in my teacher's lounge were the teachers ragging on and talking crap about some of our kiddos. That really pissed me off. Sorry for the language, but man oh man, that's just right out! Because, like the graphic above, every kid (and person) is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Don't pollute other teacher's opinion of a kiddo - defend them. Stand up for them. Needless to say,
Think before you comment. It shows more about you than it does about the topic of conversation and remember to be cool, don't be all uncool! (Thank you, Countess LuAnn!)
And remember, haters gonna hate, don't let petty professional jealousy stop you from being your awesome, sharing, innovative, collaborative, & defending self! Haters hate because the cool stuff you do makes them look bad and feel secretly guilty for being somewhat of a slacker. Shrug it off, smile brightly (that KILLS them!) & keep moving forward!