Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflections on the Positive

It's been a whirlwind month! I've been so busy enjoying my class, that I've had very little time to really reflect on this blog. This week has been a week with several thoughts rolling around in my mind. Of course, many edu-bloggers are taking this week to address Oprah's two episodes on the Education system in the United States, along with the new movie Waiting for Superman. That was one idea, but I sometimes get tired of hearing about the whole debate. If you want to read some good blogs about that, I suggest you go here, or here.

Instead, I wanted to share something that's been going on in my classroom! As I mentioned in my last post, I have started a class blog. An important part of this blog has been a page devoted to a district-wide initiative called "Celebrate What's Right with the World". Every day, I post something that our class needs to celebrate. More often than not, it's something that a student did really well, though sometimes I add something that our whole class did well. It's even more special when another teacher passes on something to celebrate about our class!

So why am I finding this so important? It's completely changed my point of view! This year, I've moved up from first to second grade, and so I've taken some of my students from last year with me... several of them were quite challenging last year. But this year, I've noticed a huge difference! I believe part of it has definitely been that they have matured... but now, my outlook has changed completely!

I wouldn't say I ever was looking for people to do "bad" things, but looking specifically to catch someone doing something great is such a powerful way to change my outlook! In fact, at our "Meet the Teacher" night, while it was a poor turnout, the one parent I did meet was ecstatic about the website. Her daughter's father lives over an hour away, and this way, he is able to connect with his daughter's learning, even though they aren't able to see each other every day. And of course, mom was beside herself because her daughter had been celebrated that very day for finding tons of patterns!

So if you're struggling in your class, I ask you to look for the good things that you can celebrate. It sounds totally cheesy, but it works! Some days it will be harder than others, but you'll be blown away at the difference it makes.

Stay positive!

(Now I must go update the Celebrate page! It seems I've forgotten to update it!)

Note: After posting this, I realized I had completely neglected to give credit where credit is due! A teacher I worked with for a few months last year had this idea for her classroom blog last year, and I am just copying her great idea! Thanks Deb Hicks!


  1. What a great perspective! You're right: there's a lot of power in celebrating the positive. I love this idea for a blog. You definitely have me thinking now. Thanks David!


  2. I must admit it wasn't originally my idea... I should go back and add that in to the original post! I got it from a wonderful teacher I taught with last year for a while, Deb Hicks.

    Thanks for the comment Aviva!

  3. Hello David.

    I am a middle school teacher in Bedford England and have just become a head of year. Year 7 to be exact. I too have decided to be positive and celebrate success. So much of what i have heard as a tutor from other heads of year has been negative always berating a year group when just a small number are those causing the problems. I have followed a colleague who constantly talks about choices and good choices in particular which is hard as she is in charge of a very tricky year 8 group. So often classes of kids sit and listen to the teacher complain i have made a real effort to be positive to the year group in public and see individual pupils causing problems in private. it seems to be working.

    I too have started a blog "celebrating success in school" at present it is very much about whole year group successes but I too want to hear from teachers about individuals who have done well.

    take a look and perhaps we can keep in touch.