I wondered aloud on Facebook today why negative thoughts appear so much more potent that positive ones. A few chums posted some responses but I’ll expand here why I raised the question. I’d been wondering this for a while but today’s supply placement prompted me to write.
Today’s placement was shit. At the end of the school day I felt defeated, a failure and was questioning why I bother to do this job. That sort of experience affects me and my view of myself. Why, I wondered, do I not feel such a strong emotional reaction when I have a good day’s teaching?
When the kids are lovely, they try hard and do their best to behave and learn I’m happy but tend to say it’s because their usual teacher is awesome or their routines are well embedded. If it’s a crap day, I immediately tell myself it’s because I’m a bad teacher who can’t manage a class and isn’t an effective educator. How stupid is that?
The class today were a nightmare (in the afternoon, after I produced a perfectly good morning’s teaching) because they’ve had a load of different teachers, there has been no consistent routines, they are well behind where they should be academically, with an extraordinarily high proportion of children who don’t speak English and therefore really didn’t have much of a clue what I was saying to them. There was also no planning or resources (so I was making up the day as I went along), the school did Read Write Inc incorrectly (it should not be taught as a carousel), there were insufficient activities for the free-flow children, staff only get 25 minutes for lunch and on arrival I only had 15 minutes to get my head around what to do before being told to come to the 15 minute whole-staff briefing (supply teachers really don’t need to attend them).
Of course the class were going to act up. I’m amazed we got to lunchtime before they all kicked off (and each other).
I’m not saying I’m perfect because as soon as I raised my voice I knew I’d lost them (then I was pissed off at myself for doing so, so the cycle was exacerbated) but what I am asking is why does my brain focus on the negative and steamroll over, not only, the positive but the reasons behind the negative? It’s stupid, irrational and emotionally exhausting.
Does anyone else out there feel the same?