New Semester, New Beginnings

After a holiday break, it can be a little bit difficult getting excited about returning to work. I LOVED my job—being with my colleagues and students—but sometimes I had a bit more of a challenge loving the thought of going back to the routine.

It should come as no surprise that our colleagues and our students feel the same way. For at least a couple of weeks, most have been able to sleep late and do what they wanted to do on their own schedule. Now all of a sudden they have to get up while it’s still dark, get to school, and then sit in class for the entire day. This is where you can make a big difference.

Image of "Back to School" signYour mood and your attitude are a conscious decision. You can decide to be joyful and enthusiastic—and your joy and enthusiasm will be contagious. By being positive you set a positive tone in your classroom and with your colleagues.

One year I had a colleague who was new to teaching, having just completed university before starting her career. Even though she was only a first-year teacher, she was a wonderful example to me of joyfulness and enthusiasm. Every day she would pop her head in my door and say hello and chat for a moment. She always had a smile on her face, even though she taught some of the more “challenging” classes…and students.

Her students couldn’t escape her positive attitude. By the end of the year, they would excitedly bounce into her room and greet her enthusiastically. Yes, it took time and effort on her part, but the results were worth it. Students behaved better and performed better academically. Parents supported her. Colleagues enjoyed being around her. She was an energy-giver, not an energy-drainer.

So, as you begin each semester, commit to joy and enthusiasm. Decide to be an energy-giver, and you will reap significant rewards.

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