More snow. It’s getting old. I am tired of the snow.

“You need a new perspective.” Yes, a new perspective. Just what I need. The past two months have been quite depressing: holidays are over, stress is on the rise again, and the snow and cold are relentless. But last Saturday I met two wonderful events that have changed my thinking. One, the sun came out for the day! I have renewed hope and expectations for the future. Two, the report from my school district’s testing site predicted a great surprise — My students’ growth and achievement! Again, renewed hope and expectations for the future. A new perspective = positive thinking.

Schools are preparing for the now-delayed standardized testing window in March. I always plan for my students to meet and exceed expectations, but it’s been a rough start to the semester with all the snow days. Students and teachers alike are not settling back into the work week very well. (We have only had one full week of school in 2014!) The standards, the daily lessons, the predictive test, led to a depression-like state for all of us. I wasn’t sure I could teach anymore; my students were lackadaisical and unmotivated. Then, by some stroke of luck…or planning…or teaching for a whole week…results!

My students are predicted to achieve! Twenty-one out of 47 students gained several percentage points since the last predictive standardized test. I knew they could do it! I just had to get rid of that negative, iced-over attitude.  Today I am positively thinking, planning, and writing again. My students will be reading new books when they return to school, writing new stories and accounts of their lives, and presenting their projects which showcase their creativity and intelligence. Then they will take the state-mandated tests and prove that they can achieve.

I have a new perspective. I am looking forward to winter’s end. Yes. But more importantly, I am looking forward to celebrating success with my students!