Half Empty or Half Full

Jen Robinson Education, Education Policy, Parent Involvment, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

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half-empty-or-half-fullI recently read a post on Facebook…

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

So the following week I started to think about all the things I carry with me all day and into the night. I thought about the upset parent who came in after dismissal. I thought about the teacher who was unhappy with the new safety policy. I thought about the parent who insisted on pushing her child across the street after I asked her to go to the crosswalk. I thought about the parent who was upset with the attendance policy and let everyone know it.

My mind instantly went to the negative.

I didn’t think about the parent who said thank you for caring about my child. I didn’t think about the teacher who cried because one of her students read 28 words. I didn’t think about the 5th grader who called across the cafeteria to tell me, he rocked his Galileo test. Nope, I held onto the negative.

I wonder why is it we go right to the negative and not the positive? Maybe it’s just me. Does this happen to anyone else?

 

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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