School in the winter can be a breeding ground for viruses. We see evidence of runny noses, coughing in the back of the classroom, and attendance rates dipping. We take preventative measures to ensure the viruses don’t spread to us by sanitizing our hands and using Clorox Wipes on everything we touch, but this just isn’t enough. There is a virus that seemingly spreads in spite of our best efforts and the only thing we can do is contain it, isolate it until it dies. The virus is disgusting. It is extremely contagious. It leads to chest pains, headaches, and nausea. It sends some into depression and panic. It is up to all of us, to do all we can to contain the virus of PESSIMISM.
Somewhere in the last decade, this virus took root in schools as teachers began to compete with each other, to try and knock each other down, and doubt the good will of their peers. PESSIMISM began spreading and eventually started driving great teachers out of the profession to never return. Some tried to fight this virus head on. They attempted to drive it from their schools only to begin to show symptoms themselves as the disease took aim at them. Only recently have we discovered the only real way to rid this vicious bug from our schools is to contain it. We must isolate it. Teachers must avoid others showing evidence of the disease and build up their own immunity by surrounding themselves with others who have not yet been infected. When a school begins to isolate the infected, the virus will begin to die as it loses its strength without new hosts to feed on.
As you work hard in your schools this week, be on the lookout. When you see evidence that the virus of PESSIMISM is alive in your building, don’t try to confront it. Isolate it and know that in due time it will die. Be optimistic that this plan will work and you can continue on doing the great work you were called to do without the added pressure of fighting the ill effects of doubt, fear, and despair.