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A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. “In English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.” – A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.” Laurie Rozakis

The smallest thing can drag you down in education. The rut is smooth and you can slip down it without ever thinking about dragging yourself out of it. I have seen too many, too often, just accept the negative (with an almost evangelical glee) on too many occasions. It is as though it has become our greatest weapon. Policy is terrible, the hours are long, society is broken, the bar is too high, it rained over the summer etc…

I am as bad as anyone when it comes to bathing in the gloom.

This week I really tried hard to focus on the positives. I know, I need to get real, I need to take a rain check – get with the program, stop smoking crack and just grow up. Searching for the positives? In a school? What kind of crazy is this?

It felt amazing! Have you ever gone through the day and counted the number of positive interactions you’ve had? Last week was tough, there was plenty of horrible things to deal with but they were dwarfed when I began to count the positives. 

“Good morning Mr Walton!”

Smiles at playtime…

Amazing work at my office door…

High fives…

Camp!

Staff working together and supporting each other…

The small things you have implemented being championed…

Parents wishing me a wonderful weekend…

Children standing tall with their certificate…

New teachers talking about the positives of being a teacher in their school…

Sitting and eating dinner with Reception…

I could go on and on. On their own they are small pockets of positive but when seen together they grow in to a much more powerful thing… Suddenly the corridors of school are bright and buzzing; the pleasantries flow more easily and the ethos of the school glows a little brighter. It is a simple mind game and yet its effects are far reaching.

And all I am doing is noticing the obvious, much of which naturally happens around us. I could flip it around.

The Facebook moans…

The constant sense of never finishing important work…

The legal threats…

The test game…

But, what does this gain me? A sleepless night and dizzy stomach. Whereas, being in the moment and feeling those little positives, they build confidence and they sow hope.

So, this coming week get a tally chart going. Notice the positives and if they are not easy to find, try becoming the positive. It’s amazing how quickly it spreads.

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