Monday, March 7, 2011

5 Ways to Handle a Bad Day

BadDayIn Having a Bad Day? Not feeling too well? Suck it up! from Tips For New Teachers and Student Teachers, Sam shares,

“Our students come into our classes expecting to learn something new each day. It’s our job to make sure they get a quality education – every day, not just on those days we feel good. So to all you new teachers out there, having a bad day? Suck it up and teach. The kids deserve our best.”

When I read this, I couldn’t agree with this more. In fact, I wanted to jump and down and cheer. I’m so glad to hear another person say this!

I can’t tell you over 30 years how many times I have had to teach on a bad day that I was having. But the important thing is that I get past my bad day and do my job. Not just do my job in order to get a paycheck but do my job effectively.

This made me think of a conversation I had last night with a friend of mine. He went to get “fixed” (his words not mine) and on the day of the surgery, they arrived to find out the doctor was resting after having had a seizure. When the doctor came to see him, the doctor had something that looked like an ice pack on his shoulder and was limping towards my friend. Obviously the doctor was having a bad day. Now I don’t know about you, but I know if it was me, I would have been out of there! Yet, my friend had the surgery and everything turned out okay. (Luckily, I think, but no one asked me!). I’m sure that there are other doctors out there that have had a bad day and continued to do their job. But I hope if that doctor is ever operating on me, he handles his bad day appropriately and does his job the best that he can.

I feel that I am the same way about my students. I may be having a bad day but how I handle it is important because what I say and do will affect young minds possibly for the rest of their lives.

Here are some ways that I handle having a bad day.

1. Stop for 5 minutes some place I can be alone. Shut off or dim the lights. I start doing some deep breathing exercises and think of somewhere I love to be. This helps calm me down and get past my bad feelings.

2. If I have time, I walk to get rid of my pent up negative energy. I can walk during my lunch break or my planning. I know that if I don’t get rid of my negative energy, I am wasting my time trying to do any effective planning.

3. If I have time, I write about the thing that is causing me problems. Sometimes this helps me to get the negative feelings out of my system. Once I write it all out, the negative feelings aren’t there to fester like a wound.

4. Talk to others and get there perspective. Sometimes I am seeing it with a narrow mind and making the situation worse than it really is. This helps give me a reality check.

5. I have two small stuffed animals. One is a mean bull and the other is a pink dragon. On most days, the pink dragon sits on my desk but if I am having a bad day, I put the bull on my desk and it lets my students know that I’m having a rough day. Usually they see this and want to show their love and support so much that I end up eventually putting my pink dragon back out. I also let them know how much they help change my mood. Students can be very sensitive if I let them be and it shows them that I am human too. I have also had students ask if they can borrow the bull when they are having a bad day. This lets the other students know to give them space too.

How do you handle a bad day so that you can do your best job at teaching? Please share!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Angry Face' by: Pietro Jr


Perfect Dad said...

My wife definitely notices when I'm having a bad day, and it's not a good scene when I'm grumpy! However, at work I'm known as a very even-tempered person, never angry, never even unhappy. My strategy is easy, just the old "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... It's All Small Stuff." I view work as play, don't really lament that I have to be there or bone-headed bosses and co-workers. You're there, you have skills and a job to do, you're better off than most people in the world, so just happily live that day of your life.

loonyhiker said...

@Perfect Dad What a wonderful attitude you have! I bet you are wonderful to work with!

Sam said...

Great post, Pat. I really like the idea of the stuffed animals. Thanks.

Tasia's Mom said...

I really enjoyed the footage on Adults Learning from Kids. That is so true in many situations. I learn something new from my children everyday. Although we have established that I am the parent I make sure I listen to what they have to say.