Learn to Fend Off Poisonous Puffer Fish
Schools are stressful places. Expectations, requirements, and demands challenge even the most positive and dedicated teachers. However, lurking in every school, there are prickly puffer fish.
Mrs. Stevenson was a puffer fish. She was the school librarian who was a year away from retirement. At times, she appeared harmless, but stress and staff meetings brought out her poisonous spikes, and she never missed an opportunity to complain. Her negativity spread through the school like a virus.
When I was a new teacher, Mrs. Stevenson often cornered me in the hallway, going on and on about the perils of being a teacher. I had the sense that she was trying to recruit me to her side. Her constant rants and negativity left me feeling like a deflated balloon.
In my experience, every school has its puffer fish, but they are also full of wonderful, talented, and inspirational teachers. Seek out these teachers so you can surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. Teaching is hard, so you need to guard yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally against the negative.