Classroom Preparations & Negative Nancy

My classroom is feeling more complete. Since I enjoy doing some get-to-know-you activities to begin the year where students tell about themselves, I set up my room to illustrate my interests as well as the obligatory “what I did over the summer” share-out. If I expect my students to reveal who they are, I have to do the same.

I am starting to feel the excitement of the coming school year!

I work with numerous amazing people who are as interestingly varied as they are talented, including one phenomenal teacher who also may be one of the most negative people I have ever met. For her, the world is getting worse and worse by the day, and education is about to fall off a cliff because things have changed in the past few years, especially in the new testing culture that has developed. While I would agree that we test kids too often and use state tests too readily when making decisions, I also feel that the profession is improving overall. Teachers are better trained and more advanced in research than ever.

However, Negative Nancy, while hiding her pessimism from the students (who love her and should love her because she is a master teacher who adores kids), feels free to express her exasperation with her colleagues. Because of this and her highly critical comments towards other teachers, she is not a popular co-worker during collaboration. She revealed this again today with heavy sighs, cross looks, and subtly critical comments during our planning and sharing time.

I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t try to get a different position in education. She seems unhappy all of the time and hides this from her students, and this disconsolate behavior appears to hang around her like a cloud. It must be frustrating to feel this way most of the time, and I think  if I felt that way so often I would have to find another line of work. It’s probably much easier to say than do, but I worry about Negative Nancy from time to time.

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