Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dealing with Negativity

I am a technology evangelist and I love what I do. I truly believe in the power of educational technology to improve learning, create communities and inspire new thinking (hence the title of my blog ;) We are doing great things at my school. Teachers and students are using Ning and podcasting and blogging and iMovie and GoogleDocs and lots more with great success.

At the start of this school year, I blogged about a great book by Robert Evans titled The Human Side of School Change. While I've made a huge amount of progress in my school, I think most would agree, that change is slow. Some people can be very resistant to trying new things. They feel that what they do works and don't understand the need to do things any differently. Sometimes, those of us who's job it is to convince people otherwise, face negativity. While we might understand it intellectually, it still can be hard to deal with.

Today I asked my network how they deal with negativity. They came up with some great ideas. I've pasted them below (in reverse chronological order). As always, I'm so impressed with the power of your collective intelligence. Thanks so much to everyone who shared their thoughts!

Page Lennig plennig @lizbdavis "end up like that"
Lee TeachaKidd @lizbdavis Understand that you can't manage others. Try to avoid them. Hard to do.
Page Lennig plennig @lizbdavis tell me about it - after last week's NYT article teachers are worried that by posting assignments online we'll "end up like ... ...
Dominic Salvucci Dsalvucci @lizbdavis I counter w/sarcasm, which gets me in trouble, or silly questions/examples which confuses the negative people.
Christy Tvarok cmtvarok @lizbdavis humor sometimes works, "whoa, i wasn't expecting such a negative response. got anything good 2 say?"
carenpence CPence Icon_red_lock @lizbdavis Keep telling myself...."Breathe...Breathe..." Human nature and my personality...it is difficult to let it roll off my back.SMILE
K Christopherson kwhobbes @lizbdavis I've been learning to take negativity directed at me as a way to improve myself. If they are just a - person, I stay away.
Lee Allan Sanders onlineteacher @lizbdavis Meditation is my primary, and forcing myself to wait a full 24 hours b4 actual response/reaction, except I fail sometimes
mountainlaneman mountainlaneman @lizbdavis Thick skin. I go by the rule of 3rd's and know that there is a silent minority that doesn't appreciate my work. Continue goin ... ...
Art Gelwicks ArtGelwicks @lizbdavis Wiffle ball bat.
Jerry Swiatek jswiatek @lizbdavis Liz...if you find the answer, please share!! :) This happens to me all of the time...
Lisa Parisi LParisi @lizbdavis Wish I knew. Please tell me what you find out. Right now, I just smile and walk away, seething of course.
P. Harju Scout7 @lizbdavis (in resp to neg colleagues) I just remember what my mom always told me -- They are just jealous of me.
bransonb bransonb @lizbdavis a friend once told me that "if I continue to have the same high expectations of others as I do for myself, I will always be d ... ...
Michael Richards mrichme @lizbdavis Make sure you check in with positive people and don't let the negativity take over your personality. Life is about balance.
McTeach McTeach @lizbdavis Wait...I don't think I'm making any sense. So very tired...hard to respond in 140 or less...
McTeach McTeach @lizbdavis Remember, negative people spew negativity. It's what's inside. Kind people spew kindness. You are kind and caring. We know that.
Craig Nansen cnansen @lizbdavis some people won't like it or agree with it. Most don't know where we are going or why, until it becomes of value to them.
Craig Nansen cnansen @lizbdavis I have been a district level technology director for 23 years. It's part of the job, I just shrug it off. No matter what you do..
McTeach McTeach @lizbdavis I'd be happy to share! Where shall we start?
Janet Peterson Petersonj Icon_red_lock @lizbdavis Chocolate sometimes, too!!!
Janet Peterson Petersonj Icon_red_lock @lizbdavis AND find a good friend with which you can vent! (Thank you PenceC!! My good frieind!) And then move on!
Janet Peterson Petersonj Icon_red_lock @lizbdavis If in your heart you know what you are doing is the right thing continue to do what you do! Stay positive..change takes 5-10 yrs
Diane Hammond dianeh @lizbdavis Their negative attitudes are rarely meant as personal attacks. In many cases negativity comes from insecurity. Keep smiling!
Colleen colleenk @lizbdavis Just realize that the negativity comes from a lack of understanding on their part (or jealousy/unhappiness) - not your fault.
Michelle Bourgeois milobo @lizbdavis - Good Q! I struggle w/ that too- my advice-remember negativity often comes from fear- accept & acknowledge then grow from that
abdoss abdoss @lizbdavis Smile, but don't feed the neg. If you have to make an excuse to leave. Neg peers are not your fault, don't accept that feeling.
Tech_Teacher13 Tech_Teacher13 @lizbdavis Link didn't come thru here it is: http://www.scrapbook.com/po...
Tech_Teacher13 Tech_Teacher13 @lizbdavis To not take things personally I keep in mind that I can't be everything to all & I remember the starfish story: http://www.scrapb
Caroline OBannon cobannon @lizbdavis I'm alot like @LParisi in handling that. Don't do face-to-face well. Venting helps immensely! That and plotting. :)
Sebbe D'Hose saint_ethique @lizbdavis just assume they have a bad day and don't nesceserly mean to be mean ;)
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