I have always admired that outstanding teachers work on being positive. There are many situations when teachers are confronted with obstacles that have the potential of derailing a lesson. Sometimes the obstacle can be a discipline problem. In other occasions, it may be encountering students that do not comprehend the lesson being taught. In many instances, the obstacle may be trying to adhere to administrative directives. Regardless of the situation, teachers find ways to focus on their goal of facilitating learning.

All teachers need to create a positive learning environment. Having students that behave properly is an integral part of that environment. It is important to establish class rules from the beginning of a school year. Teachers can set the tone for good behavior by modeling. If students are given an opportunity to contribute to the learning process they are more likely to be willing participants. Teachers must respect students and expect that they respect each other. Teachers must value the individuality of each student. If a teacher can motivate students and inspire learning, the number of discipline problems can be drastically reduced or eliminated. It is imperative that teachers not escalate a disciplinary problem by engaging in any type of argument with a student. Students need to believe that teachers are fair. They want teachers that are diligent about trying to resolve any issues that occur in the classroom.

Many times teachers present a lesson in which some of the students are continuously asking questions because they do not comprehend what is being taught. During these times, it is important for teachers to find alternative means of teaching a concept or for solving a problem. Students enjoy a lesson when they observe that the teacher is patient and willing to be creative in finding a way to make a lesson easier to understand. If teachers are constantly striving to improve themselves, they are more likely to be prepared with more than one way to teach a concept or solve a problem. Teachers should also be willing to ask students for assistance.

During the school year there are many requests from administrators that require teachers to be flexible. Sometimes teachers are asked to supplement their lessons to assist students in preparing for statewide testing. Many times, teachers are required to fill out massive amounts of paperwork.

Being flexible is an attribute of outstanding teachers. Teachers should not feel pressured to do more than time constraints will allow. If a teacher knows they are doing the best they can do, they should not place undue pressure on themselves. If a plan for success is organized for each student, a teacher should follow the plan to the best of their abilities. All obstacles can be overcome by not losing focus on the fact that inspiring learning is the most important objective. If teachers can get students to enjoy being in class, success will usually follow. Teachers who believe in their own abilities will increase their chances of feeling positive about all work related issues.

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