Are you Teaching in a Negative School Climate?
Let’s pretend you are standing in a line of teachers right now. You are all standing behind a line taped on the floor. I am going to list some situations, and if you have ever seen any of these things happening in your school or a past school please take a step over the line.
✏️ Eye roll from another teacher when they think you aren’t looking.
✏️ Have a student tell you something they heard another teacher say about you: and it isn’t good.
✏️ Head or been apart of lunchroom gossip.
✏️Heard teachers bashing administration or their actions.
✏️ Heard or been apart of an argument with another teacher during a meeting or plan time.
✏️ Blamed something trivial on another teacher.
✏️And finally, probably the most common: Constant complaining about funding, policies, student behavior, parents, etc.
My guess is that you would be standing on the other side of the line by now. I know I would be.
Now, before we go any further, for the sake of full disclosure you should know this post contains affiliate links. That means if you decided to purchase any products through my links I will get a portion of the profit and at no extra cost to you! Yippee!
Why is Negative School Climate a Thing?
Guys, I’m going to go ahead and say it…..teaching is just plain freaking hard. It is hard for so many reasons and one thing that makes it even harder on a personal and daily basis is negativity among teachers, administrators, and staff.
I (Lindsey) worked as a third-grade teacher in a very small rural school. I worked with some amazing teachers who I respect and love, but I also worked with some very poisonous and negative teachers. The negativity that oozed from some of the teachers was awful and contagious. The more I was around them, the more negative and miserable I let myself become. I know it held me back as a teacher, and I’m sure it affected my kiddos.
Thinking back on this negativity today, it got me wondering….why is it so easy to hate teaching? To get so down in the dumps at school? I personally think it is because most of us teachers are passionate people. We worked so hard to become the type of teacher that changes lives, only to be hit smack in the forehead with just how hard teaching really is. We get stuck in the negativity quicksand because the teachers before us are already down there just pulling at our legs.
Guys! It is hard, but come on! Think about those (mostly) sweet little faces you get to pour into every day. They deserve that passionate teacher that chose to teach as a profession. So start fighting! Start slow, and start today!
Here are some of the tricks I used to get myself off that negativity bus. If you get off the bus, others in your building WILL follow. You can make a difference! I have also listed some great books that I would recommend for all teachers! Grab one just for yourself or start a small book study as extra professional development.
Combating that Negative School Climate
Smile- Yea I know, it is corny and easy, but just try smiling. Every time you walk down the hall for the next week remember to put a smile on your face. Kids will notice, and so will other teachers.
Compliment- Set a number and stick with it. Maybe you start with three a day? Find three people in your building and give them a quick and natural complement. It can seriously be as simple as, “Your hair looks so good today!” What if you complement those three people, and then they decide to compliment someone. Just like that, you have six compliments floating around your school!
I know, I know….you’re a teacher! You don’t need one more thing to do! Well, I have the best solution! Check out these amazing compliment cards!- So Cute!
Leave Post-it Notes– Think about the most negative teachers trolling your school. Grab a post-it and write them an anonymous compliment. Ideas include: “I love your room! So cute!” or “I can tell your kids love you!” or “That anchor chart is a great idea!”
Take a Marker to the Staff Bathroom Mirror– Dry erase, my friends!!! Dry erase! Leave a couple uplifting messages on the mirror each morning and pretty much every teacher and staff member will have an opportunity to feel your positive vibes!
Grab a snack from the workroom and buy it for someone random-The best way to a teachers heart, is through her belly! Haha….but for real! I know that would just make my day!
Offer to take someone’s duty- Will one extra recess duty kill yea? Nope! On the next beautiful sunshiny day, offer to take Mrs. Negative Nacy’s duty just because!
Again, teaching is hard! Do you have to do all of these? No! Just try one! Maybe try one a week and notice how things in your building change! Even if things don’t change as a whole in your building, you can still feel great knowing that you have a positive attitude and are making others smile.
P.S. I would love to hear from you if you have any other ideas for spreading some positivity!
Here are those books I mentioned from above! Simply click on the picture to read the summary and see prices.