This is seriously the only thing that kept me going some days. One day it would be a big positive such as a lesson going amazingly well or getting a compliment from a parent. Other days I'd have to search and search for something... ANYTHING to find good about that day, but I still would, even if it was that one of my kids paid attention during a lesson or they didn't get in trouble on the playground.
Once I learned this my classroom turned around! No longer did I accept things just because the student was an EL or was a discipline problem. Once I showed them what I expected, they rose to the occasion. I'm not saying to expect the same thing from each student, because they are all different and are on different levels. I expected all of their work to be turned in nice and neatly. I expected them to give their BEST effort on all assignments and tests or they would redo it. You have to set that bar right off the bat so that you don't get any students trying to get away with lazy work.
Self explanatory... It will get better!!! :)
This stems from a personal experience of mine. I had a student who could not stop talking and was constantly disrupting the class. He continually got in trouble and kept sitting out his recesses. I began to notice a pattern though... since he kept being disruptive his desk was moved by my podium where I teach. While I was teaching I would constantly check on him and praise him when he was following directions. I noticed that he enjoyed the attention. Come to find out after a conference, his parents were divorced and he was bouncing back and forth on a daily basis between the houses. He was looking for someone to pay attention to him and he needed that positive reinforcement.
I had another student who just would not turn in their homework. I kept reminding them and sending notes home. They were very distant during class as well. At a conference I found out her mother was just diagnosed with cancer and that the past couple of weeks she had been in and out of the hospital.
So the lesson here is to be sure you treat all your students with love and learn about their background.
I hope this helps out some new teachers! :)