First Day Back: It’s all about attitude

I very subtly made up my mind to have a good attitude no matter what. Last semester dealt some blows, and I found myself developing a bit of a sour disposition at times, playing the “woe is me” card, perhaps a bit too often. They get it, my coworkers. My job has some tough aspects to it.

I faced my shrunken news staff for our monthly story generation meeting and explained that we’d lost another member. This one took them by surprise, just like me. I gave them their options: 1. Keep a 12-page paper and work hard to make up the difference, finding creative ways to add (fun) filler, but in the end, each writing more. 2. Go to a 10-page paper, while squeezing in ads meant for the 12-page paper. Then decide what sections to cut back on.

I told the remaining co-managing editor that she was now editor in chief, and I pitched the need for a new business manager.

They stepped up.

And we added a member, one who I hope is a fast learner. I hear that she is.

I greeted my new freshman English class with the smile and friendliness I’m incapable of hiding. (Remember the old adage about not smiling until well into the semester?) They seemed to respond well. Time will tell. Wonder what percentage of them will turn in the “Introduce Yourself” paragraphs tomorrow. I’m holding out for 100 percent. I’ve got faith.

The yearbookers met briefly at the beginning of class. We introduced a new member there as well. Lots to share with her. Hope we don’t overwhelm her. We talked about new deadlines and the old deadlines that still lacked some work. Then they jumped in to accomplish.

I stayed over four hours after school finishing up last semester’s grades and gathering things for tomorrow. Then I went to see an hour’s worth of a basketball game, where I encountered my now-volunteer yearbook sports guy, taking pics. He needed to double up on math credits this semester, but promises me he’ll continue to cover and produce at his regular rate. There he was, keeping his promise.

It was a long day, but it was a good day. I think I’ll go back and do it again tomorrow.

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About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

One Response to First Day Back: It’s all about attitude

  1. MB Lee says:

    Sounds like you’re letting the kids make some big decisions in a difficult time. That’s great. Good to her your volunteer was at the game. I’ve had a few ask if they could still take photos for me, but they never show up. Hoping for a great second semester!

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