Do You Leave School With a Positive Attitude?

Andy Kowalczyk's picture

I was involved in a conversation with a colleague at a MASSP Board of Directors meeting about retaining teachers and administrators. We discussed what causes people in both positions to leave the profession. One reason we often hear about is educators having too many bad days. These are normally due to one or two troublesome situations like a difficult student or parent. We forget about the hundreds of great interactions that occur within that "bad day." I compiled a list of things administrators can do so that when you leave work you leave with a positive attitude.

  1. Interact with successful students. They will be surprised when they are called to your office, but will appreciate your time listening to them. Ask questions like; how are your classes, what are you doing outside of school, do you have any concerns with school?
  2. Positive calls to parents. This is similar to 1, but with parents. Tell them how you appreciate their son or daughter’s hard work, participation, or help in certain areas.
  3. Deliver cookies or treats to a class. We used to call this “Mad Hatters”. A few staff would travel to classes and ask if everyone was on time, if everyone is present, and if everyone had homework completed. If they met the criteria, we had treats for them. We would travel from room to room wearing crazy hats until we found a class that met the criteria.
  4. Get motivated. Read motivational or funny educational stories or tweets. Listen to podcasts that rejuvenate.
  5. Visit a practice or student meeting after school. The students attending are happy to see administrators and love it when you add to the discussion or shoot a basket. This can also happen during the school day when a class is involved with an activity. I visited a science class working with acceleration by timing sprints in the gym with a stopwatch. They begged me to run so I borrowed a student’s shoes that were two sizes to big. My acceleration ended abruptly when I fell and ripped a hole in my dress pants. The students loved it and talked about it whenever they saw me the rest of the year.

I am sure you have your own activities that cause you to leave the building feeling positive and happy. I hope you will leave your favorites within the comment section of this article. I can always use a new pick me up.