Being a Fountain

More of a message to myself than anyone else…

Sometimes people post things at exactly the right time.  My good friend, Amber Teamann, posted this on her blog titled, “Calm the Storm…You’re the Principal”.  These words resonated:

What I have learned, through that example and several others, is that students (or grown-ups!) are going to take their cue from the way others are acting/reacting around them.

When we get data that comes back lower than what we want to see, how I disseminate it impacts how my teachers react& handle it. If I go in, gun a’blazing, there is a defensive tone in the air. It becomes me against them, which is NEVER good for anyone. If I come in ready and willing to discuss and help with a plan of action, the air of willingness and collaboration is practically tangible.

Reading this seemingly at the right moment, I was having a rough day, and knowing that I work with new people every day, I was doing everything to stay positive.  Your attitude is contagious, good or bad. I know this.  Sometimes I know this and I still struggle to stay positive.  I, as everyone else, am a work in progress.

Negative thoughts often creep into my head when I am exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, or tired.  An education student (who might be a teacher now), gave me a piece of advice for when negative doubt comes into my head when I am tired on runs, or other situations.  She said that a trick she learned from someone else was to focus on the word PACE, which stands for “Positive Attitude Changes Everything”.  I use this often, and when I do, I can say it helps.  It doesn’t fix things, but it helps me to better, so I can continue to grow.

Now there are lots of things going on the world that are bringing anxiety to people. I get it.  But how we listen to others and, as Amber stated, stay calm through tough times, can be powerful.  We need to listen to each other more.  Reflect more. Think whether we are a fountain or drain; do we empower others around us or suck the life out of them?

Here is one thing that I know about the work that I do…I meet new and very diverse people every single day, from different cultures, beliefs, and experiences, and every single day, more of these “strangers” are  a fountain for me, than drains. The trick is that I do everything I can to look for it. Some days are better than others, but I am always looking.

Sometimes we just seem to focus on negatives more, but as the saying goes, “Do not let anyone rent space in your head unless they are a good tenant.” I am doing my best to look and understand inward, before I make assumptions outward.  We all need to try and be that fountain for ourself and others.  The world will always need it.

A nice little reminder I saw this morning that happiness is contagious:

Source: George Couros

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