At the teacher-powered Lotus School, teachers can enable optimism through focusing on the upside, gratitude, small acts of kindness, emotional mindfulness, brain and body exercise, and positive surroundings.
This great article for educators from Edutopia discusses how a positive community of educators within a school has a powerful effect on the students who learn there. Individually, teachers contribute to that positive environment by exhibiting and modeling an optimistic outlook and can-do attitude. Teachers who understand the role that emotions play in learning can lay the foundation for positive and productive interactions with students, colleagues, administrators, and parents.
A variety of strategies may useful in enhancing your practical optimism, in sharing this approach with colleagues, and in encouraging students to persist in the sometimes hard work required for learning.
Stay focused on the “upside.”
This is possible when you commit to actions and emotions that are useful and positive.
Saying thank you is not just good manners but also offers a path to better emotional health and stronger collegial relationships. Gratitude:
- Lessens feelings of social isolation
- Increases joy and optimism
- Enhances acting with more generosity and compassion
- Improves physical health
- Consciously recognizing all of the people and interactions that you appreciate and expressing those feelings can boost your mood and pass that positivity along to others
Regularly commit small acts of kindness.
Acts of kindness lift the recipients’ spirits and have the boomerang effect of enhancing your own feelings of well-being and positivity. In a study where participants were asked to reflect on their feelings after engaging in acts of kindness, many people reported feeling happier and more content.
Be mindful of your emotional state.
When you are feeling gloomy and consciously redirect your thoughts into more positive territory. Instead of cycling through everything that might go wrong, stay focused on what you love about teaching and what you can do to improve the learning environment in your school and classroom.
Give your brain and body a positive workout.
A brisk walk over the lunch hour and a regular exercise routine before and/or after the school day can relieve stress and provide health benefits and a refreshing endorphin boost.
Infuse positive feelings into your surroundings.
Arrange your classroom to take advantage of a pleasant view. Make sure that you get outside regularly for some fresh air. Avoid joining negative conversations about your school, administrators, colleagues, students, or parents.