A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of listening to George Couros at my state’s Fall ASCD conference. He was inspiring. It was just what I needed. For many weeks, it seemed that I had been a funk at work. I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything or helping anyone. It wasn’t until I listened to George and began tweeting with a hundred or so of my closest friends that I realized why I was feeling so professionally unfulfilled. I can sum it up in two words…positive attitude. The phrase may seem simple, but a positive attitude is often the difference between moving forward or moving backward. That is what I found in that room. I found people who were positive about education and the attempts they were making to move themselves, their schools, and communities forward. For much of my career, I always had a few people around me who were positive and forward thinking. However, as I have moved further away from the day to day classroom experience, I have found less and less positive thinking around me. I realized that day that I have been surrounded by some who wanted to constantly criticize education and anyone’s idea of moving it forward. It is draining to listen to all of the negative talk. I found myself taking that negative perspective to work. After some reflection, I realized that my negative attitude actually made me less productive. I needed a change, and that’s what I found at the conference that day. I was reminded of the collective power of positive people, positive thinking, and twitterverse. Since then, I have returned to a few twitter chats and joined a couple of others. The ideas, inspiration, and collective thought are so powerful.
Just today I read George Couros’ recent blog post Four Ways We Hold Others Back. As I read his descriptions of the ways we can hold others back, I realized I could add one more way we hold others back — a negative attitude. A negative attitude will get you nowhere. It will not help you solve your problem, have a better life, or make a difference. A positive attitude, however, will help you do those things and so much more! Besides, if you don’t believe, who else will? We all have to learn to move on, move forward!