Promoting Positivity: How Your Success Stories Can Change the Message
I want to hear about the excellent things that are going on in classrooms today! Do you have a positive story to share?
Whether I am listening to NPR, reading the news, or scrolling through facebook, I am inundated with stories of teachers who are frustrated, angry, or leaving the profession. I read letters from parents and listen to speeches made by elected officials who criticize the work that is done in our nation’s schools. I see magazine covers that criticize teachers and focus on the negatives, but rarely do I read or hear stories that applaud educational successes! However, when I speak to the teachers with whom I work, when I collaborate with other instructional coaches, or when I have coffee with my teacher friends, I hear different stories.
I hear about teachers who work hard for the students they love! I read about teachers who are life-long learners working to best meet the needs of their students. I listen to tales about engaging professors and inspiring administrators. I can’t argue that there are not things we need to do to improve the education in this nation. However, I would like to change the message!
As an educator, I know that positive reinforcement is engaging and motivating! I had the privilege of listening to a former teacher speak about successes she had in her classroom. The most memorable story she told was about how she evaluated student work. She was working in a math classroom with struggling students and would only evaluate assessments with positive comments. For example, she told a story about a student who got 1 question correct out of 20. At the top of his page she put +1. He came right to her desk to question her madness without recognizing her method! “Why didn’t you write -19?”he asked. She quickly replied, “Why would I do that when you got one right? Next time you will get two, and the time after that three, or even more!” Let’s positively reinforce our teachers. Let’s share stories and build a +1 from which to create a positive message about our nation’s educators. Let’s work together to motivate the teachers who work hard every day to educate our nation’s children.
I want to hear about the excellent things that are going on in classrooms today! Do you have a positive story to share? How have you managed to adapt to the Common Core? What have you and your students accomplished this year that will make a positive impact on your local community? Are you a student? Tell me about a teacher who made a difference for you! Do you have a positive story to share? Are you a parent? Has your child had the privilege to work with an excellent educator? Please send me your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will begin a blog series to showcase the amazing work being done in classrooms across the country. In your email please use the subject line, “Success Stories,” and don’t forget to share your contact information.