What made you laugh today?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

We’re entering the 20th week of school, which means somehow we’ve made it halfway. To say this year has been hard is an understatement. Even the veteran teachers at my school are saying, “This year is worst than my 1st year of teaching. And that’s saying a lot.” We’re not really sure what’s different about this year, but it’s something. Something that’s making it really hard to do our jobs. Something that’s making 9-year veteran teachers resign mid-year. It’s rough.

So, this year has been a mental strain, and without the undying support of my family and friends, I might be one of those teachers handing in her resignation tomorrow (and believe me, I’ve thought about it). It’s hard to admit because it feels embarrassing to be struggling at your job.

These past few weeks I’ve been trying something different, though. Instead of getting frustrated or angry or sad when the kids won’t listen, I think about something that made me laugh that day. Usually I realize that whatever they’re doing is so ridiculous that I can’t be angry. Usually this is how it goes in my head: “Why am I fighting with a kid over whether he should wear a hat in class? That’s ridiculous. This is a power struggle over something completely insignificant. I’m being stupid and so is he.”

George and I have started asking each other every day after work, “What made you laugh today?” Some days it’s hard to think of something and other days it’s very easy. Some days I’ll be laughing at work and I’ll think, “Here. This is what I’ll tell George later.” It helps me stay focused on the positive things that are happening at school because it’s just too easy to focus on the negative. It’s too easy to bring all of it home at the end of a 12 hour day. But I’m working on it. I’m working on focusing on the things that make me laugh for the next 20 weeks and then I can laugh right out those doors.

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10 thoughts on “What made you laugh today?

  1. That sounds super challenging Ruth. Kudos to you for hanging in and staying positive! I’m sending you and your students and your fellow teachers good vibes for an improved year!

  2. Always love hearing from you, Ruth, and enjoy your blog so much. I know it has been a difficult school year, but proud of your attitude and sticking it out. I know in my heart you are making a difference in some of the student’s lives and you will realize it one day. Here’s your laugh for the day. Why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don’t work. Anne excited about the Boston weather. Just so she stays safe. You and George take care. Love, Lolo

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. Good attitude! Optimism and a good sense of humor will get you through this “speed bump” in your career as we’ll as the rest of your life. I’m proud of you for not quitting/resigning which is the easier path to take. And, for showing your students you are a like a tree, roots bound in your classroom, not swayed easily by high winds, and encouraging budding growth with just a little sunshine poking through. You kind of are sheltering them from themselves in a way. Showing them the ‘take care of YOU-self video’ is getting the point across without pointing. Keep doing what you’re doing. Great changes are happening inside some of your students. That alone means are already succeeding. You can’t change the views of people around you, but you can always choose the way you are going to react to the information. You’re doing a stellar job! Keep up your good mojo! Love and hugs, xoxox

  4. Your experiences are inspiring to me, thank you for sharing your outlook and your committment to your work ethic. I am also appreciative of Mel’s response, what a great
    analogy. I now have a better perspective, just from hearing from both of you. Thank you.
    God Bless,
    Sonia

  5. Hang in there Ruth;I’m in my 29th year and it’s difficult. The children are more needy.Your attitude and God’s help will see you through the toughest times. Love to you!

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