The premise behind my feel good file is that if times are rough or if something didn't go the way I had planned, I can always go to the file to bring a smile to my face. A card from a co-worker, an email from a fellow principal, a piece of art my own children drew while sitting in my office waiting to go home after school, parent letters of support, and many others are included in this file. However, I have taken a different spin to my "feel good" file. I not only include those things that bring back good memories, but I also include artifacts of times when things might not have been going so well. Why, you might ask, would I include things that weren't positive? The answer comes from the following quote from Gordon B Hinckley:
“It's not as bad as you sometimes think it is. It ALL works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it all works out. Put your trust in God and move forward..."
By including artifacts of the down times, I can remind myself that I have been through though times before and will make it though whatever is placed in front of me now. Many times we can look back and laugh at the incidents which we thought were major at the time. As long as we learn from these experiences we can grow and become better educators and people.
Here is a list of my favorites from the "feel good" file:
- Lyrics and music from the Senior Song from the Class of 2013 written by four very talented students
- A hand written letter on the back of scratch paper from a former student thanking me for helping him get into college
- A picture from Prom 2008 with a student
- A picture of a cat with the title "Mr. Meow-inkel" a student drew for me while serving detention in my office (See picture above)
- My sub plans from February 9, 2007 when there was a fire in my shop class and the sub had to put it out!
- My first Boss's Day Card
- Interesting news articles that make me shake my head
- The program from the 2010 State Football Semi Final we hosted
- Bizarre email after bizarre email
- Copies of M180X movies Mr. Meyer, Mr. Nutzman and myself made and produced for the staff
- Lots and lots of pictures and cards
- Autograph of Fuzzy Zoeller
- Scorecard from Sand Hills Golf Course
- A number of incident reports that, once again, make me shake my head!
- A copy of my first teaching contract
- And the list goes on and on!
I would encourage every educator to start a "feel good" file. Regardless of how my day is going, I know I can always open that file up and get a good laugh....or at least a smile!