Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Words, One BIG Impact!

The first email that I open each morning is the daily substitute report. Some days it's good, some days it's bad and some days it's just plain ugly. Today, I'm not going to lie, it was almost unbearable. We were three subs short. AGAIN. I had several moments of denial, panic set in and then I decide! This can be a great day or a horrible day, the choice is mine. My outlook immediately changed.

On my drive to work, two phone calls meant two more subs were needed. My mindset had already shifted. It wasn't about being short on subs, it was about how we make it decide! So often we let situations handle us and we don't handle situations. Even more importantly, our attitudes influence the attitudes of the people around us. As educational leader Todd Whittaker says, "When the principal sneezes, the whole school catches a cold. This is neither good nor bad; it is just the truth. Our impact is significant; our focus becomes the school's focus"  I wanted my attitude to be worth catching. I wanted our staff to know I was ready to help support them in whatever way I could. I wanted to model to our students that attitude matters. You decide!

I was lucky enough to substitute in a 4th grade classroom for the morning. We sang, we danced, we connected with another 4th grade class in Boston, we acted out vocabulary words, we had a worksheet snowball fight and most importantly, we built relationships through learning. It was evident from the moment I walked in the door the amount of time and energy the teacher had spent building a caring, learning-centered community with her students. This class truly lived our school mission of high levels of learning for all. Had my sub report not been unbearable, I couldn't have had the opportunity to share this important time with our students. I wouldn't have truly been able to experience the strong classroom culture that has built by the intentional practices of the teacher and the students. Had my attitude been negative, my subbing experience could have been boring and mundane. You decide!

Don't underestimate the power of positive thinking. Your attitude is contagious-make it worth catching.  A day that I thought was going to be unbearable was unbelievable--and it happened because of two little words that make a big difference. You decide!
Playing cards to sharpen our math facts. I promise it was in the plans!
Google Hangout with Mrs. Bartley's 4th graders in Boston.
Google Hangout with Mrs. Bartley's 4th graders in Boston.

Acting out our social studies vocab. We definitely know what our words mean!
We worked on our multiplication facts and goal setting.
We found a fun way to learn about plural possessive nouns. SNOWBALL FIGHT!

1 comment:

  1. Beth,
    Great post and I couldn't agree with you more. It is a decision to wake up each day with the belief that you can change the world. Of course, regardless of title the demands of our great profession continue to increase, but the common factor is and always will be doing what is right for our students. A few years back I wrote a letter to staff prior to winter break and asked them to think about the word choice and ponder few quips: It's a choice to come back renewed and energized or it's a choice to model the enthusiasm we expect from our students. Thanks for this great reminder, because sometimes we all just forget "to decide"!