Co-workers can suck

Co-workers. Oh, co-workers. I have been blessed to have more positive co-worker experiences than bad, but I have definitely had the bad. Haven’t we all?

Angela Watson wrote about “how to deal with co-workers who constantly complain.” In our situation as teachers, these are our fellow staff members that gossip about the bad students, bitch about the administrators, and complain about Common Core and pretty much never just “grin and bear it.” These people suck. Hmm, kind of ironic, I’m complaining about people that complain. Oops.

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Two of my favorite tips that she writes about are to find topics beyond work that you have in common and to be blunt. It’s OK to talk to your co-workers about students and your life as teacher, but sometimes we all need a break from that. Talk about anything that isn’t school related and learn more about your co-workers. Plus, this might help create more of a positive atmosphere/relationship within the school.

I love the second tip: be blunt. When my sisters call or text me for advice, the conversations almost always start out with them saying “hey you’re always honest, so I want your opinion” or “you’re brutal blunt most of the time so tell me what you think.” And I LOVE IT. I love that I’m honest. Being honest and blunt doesn’t make you unapproachable or rigid or anything else, it makes you dependable. Angela writes that sometimes it’s best to just call it as is and say “can we get all the school-related talk done now and then change the subject?” or “I want a break from talking about school.” Your co-workers aren’t going to hate you for it. In fact, they might breathe a sigh of relief and think “Thank God someone finally said it!”

Go check out her whole blog for all the tips!

Plus, she’s super pretty.

The kid she didn’t kill

The resources under the “Being and Becoming” section of our Sakai are truly my most favorite resources of all time. They’re enlightening, honest, real, helpful, and quite hilarious.

“The Kid I Didn’t Kill” by Ellie Herman had me in tears from laughing so hard. She talks about how every year there is always that one kid:

“Gio was that kid.  That kid!  Every year I had three or four of them, students who occupied about 3% of the actual population of any class but consumed about 50% of my energy. That kid!  The one who made my whole body tense up, who could shut down an entire class for minutes at a time with his demands, accusations and outbursts, whose absence, I’m ashamed to say, would cause a wave of relief to wash over not only me but all of the other students in the class when we realized we were actually going to have a Gio-free day.”

But “that kid” exists in every school, boy or girl, young or old. They’re out there…The ones that make an “entire schoolful of people completely batshit crazy.” Ellie reminds us in her blog though that all of “those kids” have one thing in common: they’re smart. They know how to work people, and they know the material, but their attitude gets in the way of them succeeding. 

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No matter how many cold pricklies certain kids may give us, it important to remember that turnarounds can happen: a change in attitude, drive, and perception on life. It takes students (and people in general) determination, patience, strength, and courage to change. But in my opinion, it takes us, as teachers, even more determination, patience, strength, and courage to realize that our kids can (and will) grow. We need to remember that on the days we want to run their crummy little bodies over, these students have faced failure and rejection more times than they can count. They need an atmosphere that allows them to fail, but then to grow and learn from their mistakes. Our students allow us to fail daily, so why can’t we do the same for them?

Ellie makes a valid point that no, not every kid is going to have a turnaround moment in life, but those turnarounds are possible. We need to have the mindset that those turnarounds are possible and that we have the faith that our students are capable of doing so.