I noticed several years ago that lots of times when I think my classes are getting lazy, talkative, rude, unmotivated, etc., I kind of felt lazy and unmotivated myself. Taking a hard look at my attitude during those times reveals that I’m not at the top of my game.
Flash forward to those days when your students are really clicking, eureka moments are happening weekly (or daily!), and your classroom community has never been better. What’s the difference? The kids? Maybe, but I truly believe it is the teacher’s attitude that sets the tone for the students.
On days when I have lots of energy, smile more, and am more excited about what we are doing in class — you guessed it — my students are, too.
If only we could bottle positive attitude, or brew it in the faculty coffee machine, right? Some days you’ve just got it. You know it and it comes easy. For those other days, my philosophy is this:
If you’re not feeling it, fake it!
Sometimes faking it is just enough to turn the tide and I start feeding off of my students’ enthusiasm until I don’t even have to fake it anymore. That, friends, is one of the things I love most about teaching.