Home > Choices, Reflection, Teaching > Focus on success

Focus on success

It’s so easy to define the day based on what didn’t work.

The kids didn’t line up well from recess.

My lesson didn’t work well in reading.

One of my boys didn’t have a good day and had to have a note sent home.

Another boy didn’t finish his work because he had a temper tantrum after he made a minor mistake.

It’s easy to focus on these things, but if I looked at the day that way, I’d never go back.  So instead I try to look at the positives.

We did line up beautifully, and oh-so-quietly, going to lunch.

The kids did love writing their list poems.

When I gave the vague direction to “clean out your book box and get rid of all the random paper,” the whole class did start cleaning, and did it well.

The students did remember how to measure with non-standard units and did work cooperatively for almost 45 minutes measuring things at their tables.

At the end of the day, my recently-suspended student did recite a long poem fluently and almost perfectly.

Though it doesn’t always feel like it in the moment, these celebrations are just as true, and even more important, than the failures.  It’s what I hold onto every night at bedtime, and every morning as I pull into the parking lot and gear back up for a full day with my class.

  1. Lauren
    March 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you for the reminder to be positive…

    And I am always impressed by your bottomless bowl of optimism & silver linings.

  2. myfriendmissmiller
    March 16, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I really like this post, it spoke to me today. I’ve had one of “those” weeks. Today, I was feeling stressed and down. A few of my kids came to see me during our after-school tutoring, and I had my head in my hands just thinking of all the word I had in front of me. The three girls sat down with me (8th graders) and we just TALKED. And laughed. We talked about boys, friendship, homework, how high school was going to get more difficult but that they needed to remember to push past it because when they were my age they would laugh about these years, etc. At the end of our time, one of the girls said “See, that’s why you’re my favorite teacher. You teach us in class, but you also know how to laugh and just talk to us outside of class. We can talk to you about anything!”

    … and THAT was the one moment, one of those few moments in a week where I remember WHY I’m in this profession and I realize again that there’s nothing else I’d rather do with my life.

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