What do you see…?

If you do bus duty in the morning do you see it as an opportunity to greet each and every student with a smile to ensure their day at school starts off right, or do you see it as just another short straw that you have drawn…?

If you know a colleague who is struggling do you see it as a chance to help him/her with their struggles because we work as a team, or do you turn your back on them and ignore their struggles while being thankful it’s not your problem…?

If you have a conversation with a colleague and you disagree, do you see it as an opportunity to learn about another perspective or do you concentrate all your energy on proving that your perspective is correct…?

If you make a mistake do you see your failure as a chance to learn and grow or do you see your failure as a defining characteristic that will always follow and haunt you…?

If you experience success in your classroom with a particular activity do you see it as your professional responsibility to share it with your colleagues or do you see the activity as something you must protect and hide from others…?

If you get stuck doing something that isn’t your job, do you see it as an opportunity to learn about another role in education or do you see it as a burden that shouldn’t fall on your shoulders…?

If you are selected to do lunch supervision do you see it as an opportunity to build and strengthen student relationships or do you see it as wasted time that comes with the job…?

If you have a student who is unmotivated in your class do you see it as a chance to help the student find the root cause of the issue or do you see the student as another lazy and unmotivated kid…? 

If you are assigning work to be completed outside of school, do you see the other time commitments and constraints your students may have or do you see homework as more important than family and/or interests and hobbies…?

If you discover that a student is passionate about something that is not related to your content, do you see it as an opportunity to connect and relate your content to his/her passion or do you see his/her passion as something that is getting in the way of his/her learning…?

Does what you really see match up with what you really want to see? Does what you really see match up with what’s best for your students?

Every day before you go to work think about what set of lenses you are wearing, and remember that from time to time it’s not necessarily a bad idea to throw out your old lenses for a set of new ones…

- This post is also posted at “Life of an Educator.” – Follow Justin Tarte on Twitter at @justintarte


9 comments for “What do you see…?

  1. November 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Nice post reiterating the absolute must in being positive in our classrooms, schools and with our stakeholders. By the way I am Bus Duty each and everyday am & pm! I love the smell of diesal….smells like victory! :)

  2. November 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    diesel fuel that is! :))

  3. 8amber8
    November 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Great post, JT! A timely reminder, for sure…

  4. Cindy Wainikka
    November 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you for your post on keeping it optimistic!!

  5. November 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Love the reminders shared in this post. Going to be one that I share with pre-service teachers, regarding what we really put focus on when coming to school each day. Thanks Justin!

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