THE POWER OF
A POSITIVE EDUCATOR
Regardless of your profession, we can all be
Positive Educators and help inspire the young minds in our lives.
When I think about the teachers who made a
difference in my life I realize they were all positive. Mrs. Liota
smiled every day and made me feel loved. Coach Caiazza believed in me
while Mr. Ehmann encouraged me to be my best. Years later as I think
about the impact these teachers had on my life it’s clear that being a
positive educator not only makes you better it makes everyone around you
better. Positive educators have the power to transform lives and
inspire young minds to believe they can and will change the world. In
this spirit here are seven ways we can all choose to be a positive
1. Be Positively Contagious –
Research shows that emotions are contagious. Sincere smiles, kind
words, encouragement and positive energy infect people in a positive
way. On the flip side your students are just as likely to catch your bad
mood as the swine flu. So each day you come to school you have a
choice. You can be a germ or a big dose of Vitamin C. When you choose to
be positively contagious your positive energy has a positive impact on
your students, your colleagues and ultimately your school culture. Your
students will remember very little of what you said but they will
remember 100% of how you made them feel. I remember Mrs. Liota and her
smile and love and it made all the difference.
2. Take a Daily Thank you Walk – It’s simple, it’s powerful, and it’s a great way to feed yourself
with positivity. How does it work? You simply take a walk... outside, in
a mall, at your school, on a treadmill, or anywhere else you can think
of, and think about all the things, big and small, that you are grateful
for. The research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same
time so when you combine gratitude with physical exercise, you give
yourself a double boost of positive energy. You flood your brain and
body with positive emotions and natural antidepressants that uplift you
rather than the stress hormones that drain your energy and slowly kill
you. By the time you get to school you are ready for a great day.
3. Celebrate Success – One of
the simplest, most powerful things you can do for yourself and your
students is to celebrate your daily successes. Instead of thinking of
all things that went wrong at school each day focus on the one thing
that went right. Try this: Each night before you go to bed think about
the one great thing about your day. If you do this you’ll look forward
to creating more success tomorrow. Also have your students do this as
well. Each night they will go to bed feeling like a success and they
will wake up with more confidence to take on the day.
4. Expect to Make a Difference – When positive educators walk into their classroom they expect to make
a difference in their student’s lives. In fact, making a difference is
the very reason why they became a teacher in the first place and this
purpose continues to fuel them and their teaching. They come to school
each day thinking of ways they can make a difference and expecting that
their actions and lessons will lead to positive outcomes for their
students. They win in their mind first and then they win in the hearts
and minds of their students.
5. Believe in your students more than they believe in themselves – I tried to quit lacrosse during my freshman year in high school but
Coach Caiazza wouldn’t let me. He told me that I was going to play in
college one day. He had a vision for me that I couldn’t even fathom. He
believed in me more than I believed in myself. I ended up going to
Cornell University and the experience of playing lacrosse there changed
my life forever. The difference between success and failure is belief
and so often this belief is instilled in us by someone else. Coach
Caiazza was that person for me and it changed my life. You can be that
person for one of your students if you believe in them and see their
potential rather than their limitations.
6. Develop Positive Relationships – Author Andy Stanley once said, "Rules without relationship lead to rebellion." [Tweet That]
Far too many principals share rules with their teachers but they don’t
have a relationship with them. And far too many teachers don’t have
positive relationships with their students. So what happens? Teachers
and students disengage from the mission of the school. I’ve had many
educators approach me and tell me that my books helped them realize they
needed to focus less on rules and invest more in their relationships.
The result was a dramatic increase in teacher and student performance,
morale and engagement. To develop positive relationships you need to
enhance communication, build trust, listen to them, make time for them,
recognize them, show them you care through your actions and mentor them.
Take the time to give them your best and they will give them your best.
7. Show you Care – It’s a
simple fact. The best educators stand out by showing their students and
colleagues that they care about them. Standardized test scores rise when
teachers make time to really know their students. Teacher performance
improves when principals create engaged relationships with their
teachers. Teamwork is enhanced when educators know and care about one
another. Parents are more supportive when educators communicate with
their student’s parents. The most powerful form of positive energy is
love and this love transforms students, people and schools when it is
put into action. Create your own unique way to show your students and
colleagues you care about them and you will not only feel more positive
yourself but you will develop positive kids who create a more positive
If you commit to being a positive educator I encourage you to read and commit to The Positive Teacher Pledge.
The Positive Teacher Pledge
- I pledge to be a positive teacher and positive influence on my fellow educators, students and school.
- I promise to be positively contagious and share more smiles, laughter, encouragement and joy with those around me.
I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.
When I am surrounded by pessimism I will choose optimism.
When I feel fear I will choose faith.
When I want to hate I will choose love.
When I want to be bitter I will choose to get better.
When I experience a challenge I will look for opportunity to learn and grow and help others grow.
When faced with adversity I will find strength.
When I experience a set-back I will be resilient.
When I meet failure I will fail forward and create a future success.
With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up and will always find ways to make a difference.
I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.
I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.
I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes my students better.
So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my students, school and the world!
Download The Positive Teacher Pledge
Download a PDF of the pledge that you can print and share.
Share On Social
Share the pledge on social via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Energy Bus Schools
If you are a teacher or school administrator, check out EnergyBusSchools.com to learn how to make a positive difference in your staff, students and future!