Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just Whistle While You Work! Staying Positive--a Lesson from Snow White

I had a little discussion with my mentee the other day. She was moaning about school starting again. Beside her was another teenager, also a mentee, so I asked that girl how she felt about school.  She laughed and said she was excited.  Both were minority girls from impoverished backgrounds, and struggling sometimes to keep up in school.  One's glass was half full--the other half empty.  I drew a glass on a piece of paper for my mentee and pointed out the difference between positive talk and negative; I hope she got it but we will revisit this.

It's also something for teachers and staff to keep in mind as we start school tomorrow.  Negativity abounds given poor salaries, removing tenure, removing the pay differential for advanced degrees, cutting assistants, no instructional supply money, mice in the building, mold, and myriad other bothers.  Needless to say, the kids are naive to this, and will be coming into school scrubbed and happy.  I'm going to whistle while I work! And smile, laugh, and enjoy the children--that's why I do what I do.  My glass is actually very full.

When I looked more closely at this video, I was amazed at the parallels to school culture:
  • an overwhelming task
  • a team effort with assigned duties and jobs
  • diverse team members
  • a team leader using positive and gentle directives
  • quantitative results
The overwhelming theme though was 'positive energy'---I don't think Snow White would have been successful here if she had been bemoaning her fate.

Have a good beginning of school!


  1. Many of my teacher friends say they know when I'm totally stressed out and about to go over the edge because they can hear me singing like crazy in my room. Singing to students, singing to myself, singing my lessons, singing my statements. I find it is almost impossible to head in a downward spiral when you sing! After a couple of song (and some giggles from my kids) I can get back to normal. :)
    Love that you are a glass full sort of person!!!

    1. I have to remind myself at times to stay positive. I just loved this Snow White video because it is a good reminder. Thanks for your reply!