I wouldn’t be where I am today without my positive mental attitude and my urge to always look on the bright side of every situation. In my opinion, this aspect of my personality is why I make a good teacher. Positivity is a work in progress though. You should never be satisfied with where you are and always strive to be better than what you were yesterday. Having a positive outlook on life, work, and daily activities, especially what goes on in your classroom, turns everyone’s attitude around. It not only encourages students to do their best but also allows students to feel accomplished and worthy. It takes time for students to automatically think on the bright side. With your help, as their teacher, you can make all the difference a student may need to achieve their goals.
Here are some fun and easy ways I integrate positivity within my classroom every single day.
1. Clap and Encourage Everyone
I teach my students at the beginning of the year that we are like a team. A team consists of teammates that all work together to achieve a goal. We discuss qualities of a great teammate and what they should do to contribute to our team. We brainstorm qualities like motivating and cheering on their teammates when they face a challenge or conquer a victory, how they help their teammates when they are struggling, and how they should always offer a listening ear when their teammates needs someone to talk to. The most important of the qualities we brainstorm is the power of positivity and how it can affect all teammates. We talk about a positive and negative mindset and how it can be a domino effect. We then come up with ways on how we can be positive in the classroom. The first thing I teach before any content is how to cheer and encourage our classmates. I love when students cheer on others when they are solving a math problem on the board or congratulating students after they present in front of the class. Being in front of peers can be daunting at times, but with the support of their classmates it makes it that much easier. Students feel that they can make a mistake and not be judged because they have an entourage of teammates motivating them to fix their answer or do their best. This makes a world of difference on student self-esteem.
2. The Power of Yet
If you do only one thing to spread positivity, please teach students that it is okay to not know the answer to something. The power of yet can impact how students approach obstacles. They can either give up because it is too hard or they can look at the challenge and tell themselves that even though I don’t know this, I will eventually. Never giving up is how students succeed. Turn the saying, “I can’t do this” to “I can’t do this, yet.” Students will persevere past the challenge and rise.
3. Positive Quotes
I have always been the one to hang motivational and positive quotes around my workspace and bedroom. I hang positive quotes throughout the classroom and we discuss the meaning behind the phrase. Showing students that I have a positive outlook on life sets the example on how they should have a positive mindset . Keep the Quote by Miss 5th is the best way to engage students in positive quotes. If you have not heard of Keep the Quote, check out Brittney’s blog post.
4. Student Shout Outs
In my classroom, I have a tiny mailbox which I grabbed from the Target Dollar Spot during Valentine’s Day a few years back and student shout outs from Miss West’s TPT store in a tiny organizer. Everyday, students are able to recognize other students’ accomplishments or good deeds throughout the day by writing a student shout out and placing it in the mailbox. When students see a classmate going above and beyond, being a leader, or just being a great classmate, students can write a student shout out to be recognized in front of the whole class. During our daily class meeting, I will read the shout outs and why they received it. This not only allows students to bring out the positivity of others but also boost their classmates self-esteem. We talk about what is a good and bad student shout out and what is considered to be above and beyond actions and behaviors. Students are always looking forward to student shout out time!
Spread positivity wherever you go! You will be a happier teacher and you’ll have a happier classroom.