On Attitude

Is there anything more impossible than teaching in a bad mood?

And yet… what other choice do we have?

Despite my daily affirmations of, “Keep your smile on!” and “Positivity engenders positivity!” I must confess that I do occasionally find myself in a foul temper while at school. Sometimes there is a reason or culprit behind the gloom, and sometimes it’s Just One Of Those Things – ponderous, pitiful, and ultimately impossible to escape without the aid of Netflix or ice cream, both of which are likely hours away. It’s a terrible scenario.

I suppose I should be glad I possess the self-awareness to identify when I am in these moods, as well as whether or not they are rational, but navel-gazing hasn’t yet provided me a means to getting out of said moods, which is a disappointment. When I feel the dark cloud descending over an otherwise uneventful Wednesday, all I want is to escape it. I long for my usual easy smile and live-and-let-live vibe. Instead, I am tense and testy, ready to snap at any perceived offense. And, naturally, as I am in a negative frame of mind anyway, perceived offenses come swift and thick.

A bad day at work is the worst, because it just doesn’t stop. A good or even tolerable day will vanish into the mist when you step over the threshold into your own home, but a bad day just… lingers. Tomorrow’s work hovers over you like a ghoul rather than a stressful but acceptable companion. An entire 24-hour block (at least) is poisoned by the bad mood.

And you know it’s pointless. You still have to teach your classes. You still have to smile, so your bad mood doesn’t escape and infect the already-angsty teens you teach. You have to get up the next day and do it all again.

So there must be a way out – an emergency exit to this cycle of malaise. If only I could find it…


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