Everyone WANTS to love their job.
Unfortunately, some don't. One question that I seem to keep running into on Twitter chats, especially the chats with a topic for new teachers or future teachers, is "What do you do when you encounter a colleague who is continually negative?"
This is a legitimate question, because it's reality. There are teachers, principals, counselors, and students who are struggling daily with the challenges of school. Those challenges look different to different people, and some just can't seem to get out of the rut.
I'm not talking about the encounter with a teacher who was just involved in a frustrating situation and needs to blow off a little steam. That's venting. We all need to vent. Usually after voicing our frustration, taking some time to reflect, we calm down and move on. I'm talking more about those who just always find something wrong with every situation. The chronic complainers. You know who they are. Maybe it's you.
My answer to this question of "how to deal with the complainers," is the same every time.
Listen, offer support, but always...stay positive. Because you can't force someone to see the positive side of education. You can force someone to stop complaining...they'll just complain about being forced into it. And you can't force someone to love their job. But if you stay positive, smile, and let the love you have for your job radiate out of you... it's attractive and contagious.
You see...everyone WANTS to LOVE their job.
Eventually those who are struggling and frustrated will start to wonder WHY you always look so happy? Why you are able to stay positive? And HOW you do it??
And then they come to you.
They'll ask for your advice. It may sound a little like...
What can I do to feel better about my classroom?
I wish I knew how to feel motivated about my classroom...
You're always happy, how do you do it?
And now you have the opportunity to help someone find a passion for their job. This is powerful. Don't shy away from it. We need positive leaders of the school to be willing to share what works for them, what motivates them, and how WE GOT HERE. Was it Twitter? Was it developing a PLN? Was it getting to know your students more? Whatever it is...share it.
Because if something is going to spread through a school...it should be positive. Never under-estimate the power of POSITIVITY. It is contagious and it can be just the thing you, your colleagues, or your school needs.