Small Victories

Morning friends!

Yesterday was a tough day. By 9:00 am I had already heard the sounds of inconsolable tears, head banging, colorful language, and "Mrs. Wallace!" more than enough to make me want to change my name. A student was aggressing toward our para, more tears from another, and we had 2 restraints by the end the day. And, it was a half day. After the phone calls home, restraint paper work, incident reports, and a debriefing meeting, I didn't get home until my usual time on a regular dismissal day, 4:30 pm. That evening, when my husband came home and asked how my day went, I responded with "Great!" Wait...what?

My day was great. Despite the endless tears, assaults, bolts, and work refusal, my day was great fabulous! Why do you ask?

One kiddo who was restrained by 11 am turned the day around, followed directions, and even told me he didn't want to go home! (this is a friend new to our school, thus getting him in the swing of these changes has been challenging) I tried a new approach with another friend who has been struggling emotionally and it was successful! A kiddo who is significantly behind in reading was able to read a passage today that he was not able to read last term! And, my most favorite moment of the day: another new student who I suspect is suffering from depression and who I have not seen smile since arriving in our school, asked a classmate to play tag and smiled the entire time! I think I even heard a chuckle!

So yes, today was great, and you can see why.

So often, the bad experiences overpower the good ones. We rarely stop and think about the successes we've had throughout the day, but God knows as soon as something "bad" happens, that's all we think about. How many times have you had something not-so-great happen to you, then another small not-so-great thing happen, then you do something like, stub your toe, and all of a sudden, it's the worst day! We've all been there, some of us more than others.

I've been struggling this year to find a balance between personal and professional life. I've also struggled to find a balance between my academic demands and behavioral ones in my classroom. But, because of these struggles, and my "not-so-great" days, I've learned that my day depends on my outlook. Earlier this year today may have been a "not-so-great" day in my book - just another one to add to the list. Instead, I chose to look at today as a success. Each small victory I experienced today added up to become a great day! Instead of dwelling on each small "defeat"and adding them together to make a bad day, I choose to change my outlook and only "do the math" on the victories. I challenge you to do the same.

Will your day be "good" or "bad?"

What were your small victories today? How did you make your day GREAT?


  1. This is a great post Rae! Thanks so much for sharing....I think it's the time of year especially when everyone is having days like that and reflection upon how we perceive it is so key. Thanks for putting yourself out there!

    Autism Classroom News

  2. Thank you for your post! I have been struggling with a couple of difficult students this year and I definitely understand how little things can add up together to create a "bad" day. Coming into the new year I decided to try and change my outlook and it has been good for my own mental health and stress level. Rather than focus on the difficult times I am trying to let them roll off my back so I can enjoy the good moments. At times I have found this to be easier said than done though. Thank you for sharing your perspective. It was a reminder I needed to hear!

  3. Wow! Thank you so much! I needed to remember the small things are the things that seem to make the most difference!

  4. What a great post! I agree with you. I have been seeking all those good moments in my days. One thing we do in our family is tell the best part of our day. It is nice to reflect on those good parts. Because they are there.
    Curious Firsties

  5. I totally understand! Sometimes what starts to be a difficult turns out to be great because like you said, the student turns it around! I've definitely had that before, and other teachers have said things like, "I can see it's been a rough day, how are you?" and I can honestly say "Great!" When staff responds appropriately and we can actually get through to the student and help them turn it around - well, that's what our job is all about :) I love the quotes you added to this post as well!

    Brie - Breezy Special Ed


Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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