Being a teacher is the best job in the world. Just imagine all the children you impact and made a difference for every day. You may not get paid what you’re worth, but you probably would never do anything else. Right? So, why not start each day being grateful and positive about it.
1. Be happy.
You never know what will happen next when you start each day with a smile. We all have those days where we just don’t want to get out of bed. Try shaking off those feelings and force yourself to smile. I do that sometimes when I’m really sad. Just walking around my house with a big smile, I can’t stay sad much longer. One time I was crying and I made myself smile. I was smiling and crying at the same time. Pretty soon I couldn’t stop giggling. All that sadness made no sense. It feels so much better to look at the bright side of things.
2. Keep a journal.
Write in your gratitude journal something positive that happened in your class every day. It’s so easy to think of the kid who is having problems and to take those problems home. What if you change your thinking and find something positive that happened with that child? Write it down. Write down as many things you can think of that happened that were special for you or for a child.
3. Write notes.
Take one good thing that happened and give it back to one child a day. Write to them how what they did make a difference for you and others. Reach out to all your children to make sure they feel cared about. A handwritten note means so much to a child. Your classroom is a community. All communities thrive if they are based on relationships that matter. Relationships work if they are based on trust and respect. Showing that you care builds that foundation.
4. Send notes home.
Parents want the best for their children and they want to trust that you care about them as they do. I worked in middle school and parents weren’t as involved as they were when their children were in elementary school. They still care about their children and want them to do the best they can. I wrote notes to my parents when their child did something special. This made a difference in how involved they became. They will want to be part of your community.
5. Share with colleagues.
Make the staff room the center of positivity. I remember walking in the staff room one day and hearing teachers complain about a child. I wanted to find that child and hug them. Our job is to be kind and be there for every child. If there is a child with a problem, there probably is a reason. That child needs that note. Instead, share all the fun and positive things happening in your class with the other teachers. Invite them to come in your class when you are doing an activity you are excited about.
6. Post stories.
Talk about all the positive things happening everywhere you go. Share smiles and stories on the walls, in the halls, at open houses, and on social media. Celebrate in different ways how amazing and kind your kids are. Write a blog and share all the joy. Invite your kids to be guest bloggers telling their stories. Start a podcast show from your room and have the kids interview each other or someone else in or out of the school. Go on social media and share your stories.
You can start small with one note and a journal. That’s what I did. Something happens to you when you focus on being positive and sharing joy. It changes you and your brain. It’s so easy to go negative but it’s not healthy for you. Pause when things start going sour. Reflect on what just happened. Force yourself to smile. Try a few of these ways to spread “intentional positive” all over the place.
Consider “intentional positivity” – this means celebrating all the wonderful things happening in your class, school, and community.
Interested in checking out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and reflections, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.