Patricia A. Jennings reminds us of our innate tendency to fix our attention on the negative events of our day, causing us to lose sight of the myriad of wonderful learning moments that are present as well. Jennings suggests we need to “make a concerted effort to notice and focus on the positive – and even savor it” in order to shift away from this negative pattern. She suggests starting a regular practice of taking note of what’s working, such as a bulletin board that spotlights positive ‘happenings’ of the day. Here’s how it could work:
Create a bulletin board titled, “
GOODThings Happen” or something similar.
Invite students to join you in writing good things that happen on small pieces of paper.
Post and Revisit at the end of the day.
See what a difference this practice can make for both you and your students, as often even the ones who contribute to the chaos choose the opportunity to make a positive difference.