I recently came across this quote from Chris Emdin and I could not agree more with this perspective. It comes from his book “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education“.
Take a second to read the featured image again…
I cannot agree more with this view. For me when I reflect on this quote I never had more fun teaching when I was working with a team who was invested, dedicated, and having a blast. The positive energy that I felt, even through the tough times, kept us all strong and we never lost sight of the end goals.
Think about the time when you were on the other side. You worked with that teacher who did their job, but teaching was just that… a JOB. How about the colleague who is a BLAST to be around outside of work but when within the walls of the school they have a negative attitude, no patience for their students, and always seem to provide a negative comment about something that is happening in the school. Another personality is someone else on the team loved teaching, kids, and was a solid educator but they resisted change and transforming their classroom.
This type of behavior is addicting. At first you might roll your eyes, shake your head, laugh with them because they are being funny. The danger here is that this is addictive and WORDS HAVE POWER. More power than most of us will ever give them credit for and eventually you will go from shaking your head to participating in the act.
“Teaching is a profession where misery does more than just love company-it recruits, seduces, and romances it.” – @ChrisEmdin
Once you start down the path of negativity it can be hard to control and maintain. It is unfair to expect that we all can avoid tripping up and needing an opportunity to vent, share disappointments, and just clear our minds of frustration. It is how you move forward form that moment that counts. Does this becoming a daily occurrence? Do you start to take your frustrations home with you? Do you take some of these frustrations to social media?
Some of you might be reading this and thinking that the teachers you hang with do not influence your impact. I can appreciate that, you want to defend the people you hang with. If this is you then my first thought is that this quote might be more true for you than you think. Maybe one or a couple of the teachers on your team have the potential to be cancerous to the entire group OR maybe you can just see and feel that this might be happening at your campus. What do you do? Well if your career depends on it, and according to the quote from Chris it might, please take a second to think and reflect on what is best for your mindset. This is crucial because your mindset will directly effect your students mindset and being anything but positive, kind, and empathetic, to me, is unacceptable. If you are not then you might just miss out on a chance to “Flip a Kid”.