So, What interventions are effective in promoting positivity?
“Research has shown significant positive associations between each of the PERMA [Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishments] components and physical health, vitality, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and commitment within organizations (Kern, Waters, Alder, & White, 2014)…proactively working on the components of PERMA not only increases aspects of wellbeing, but also decreases psychological distress.” (Madeson, 2017)
No matter where you are in your academic year cycle, creating a positive learning culture in a school is essential, and nurturing it requires purposeful use of effective interventions. Being intentional is key, inclusive of purposefully developing quality relationships, positive discipline and learning-focused behaviours and effective classroom management practices. Read below to explore actions you can take in your context.
1. Scroll through the actionable strategies on Promoting Positivity below.
Discover steps you can take to develop a positive and inclusive classroom community or how to practice positive framing, along with other strategies you can intentionally practice with purpose in your own context.
2. Find A Coach
“A culture of coaching improves teaching and improves student learning. […] Once you embrace the language, communication skills, and concepts of coaching, it’s in everything you do and it impacts every relationship.” (Barkley, 2010) When implemented well, a culture of coaching can be a significant way that schools can promote positivity. One-on-one coaching honors human agency and choice in ways that traditional, sit-and-get professional development never has and never will. Adult professionals can engage with a coach as a thought partner to develop themselves in ways that suit their needs and their school context. Coaching can benefit all educators from classroom teachers to middle leaders to school counselors to heads of school. When an entire school community is building individual and collective efficacy, student learning is certain to benefit! Schedule one-to-one and small group coaching sessions with any of our inspirational MiniPD Coaches. They can support you and your team to nurture a more positive learning culture. To connect with coaches, create an account at no cost here – it’s priceless 😉
3. Take 5 (more) minutes for a GREAT read
Read Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset by Sandra Yazbeck, MiniPD Coach. Sandra preludes her article with a quote from Carol Dweck, “Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset” (Dweck, 2016). She highlights common misconceptions around Dweck’s work on growth mindset, and provides eight practical approaches to become realistically optimistic by shifting your mindset. For example, one approach she recommends is to “do something creative, as creative flow is a positive and enjoyable experience.” Sandra is a professional International Coaching Federation certified coach specialized in youth coaching as well as neurosciences in coaching. Sandra is passionate about personal development, especially with the youth struggling with constant changes in education and in the world in general.
Read Staff Happiness by Engy Olama, MiniPD Coach. Engy writes, “Staff happiness is an essential factor to students’ happiness and improved academic results in schools. A positive culture and a clear vision brings people together, and they drive success.” Engy’s article is a reminder of the importance of positive relationships and connections. She quotes Brene Brown who defines connection as “The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; whey they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Engy is a certified Erickson and Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Trainer, having held various teaching and leadership roles in IB PYP and American Schools. Engy is also the designer of the MiniPD MiniCourse, Starters that Work (in Arabic) included in the MiniCourse Course bundle, Student-Centered Lesson Design (in Arabic).
Read On your mark, get set, go? Ideas to start the school year by Brad Opfer, MiniPD Coach. In this article, Brad emphasizes, “in order for your students to be engaged and make meaningful connections, it is important to send the message early that who they are and what they think matters.” Brad shares his approach to develop positive relationships with all students at the beginning of the school year, along with how he uses low floor, high ceiling task design to build student interest in his subject to support learning-focused behaviours. Brad, MiniPD Coach, has more than 20 years experience as an international school teacher and leader, including developing online and blended courses for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. He has worked at schools in Hong Kong, Antwerp, London, Seoul, and Chicago teaching the IB Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme, IGCSE, Ontario and US curriculum in subjects, such as mathematics, business and technology.
4. Take a Course
Instructional teams, check out this online course on Positive Behaviour and Relationship Management in International Schools with MiniPD Coaches, Barbara Mui and Michael Iannini, author of Hidden in Plain Sight: Realizing the Full Potential of Middle Leaders. The course focuses on Positive Classrooms, Peer mentoring and Positive Learning Behaviours, and is designed for middle leaders and teachers to to take together to build a shared understanding.
5. Join the Conversation
We invited educators from around the world to join us in a Coaches-in-Conversation on our theme, Promoting Positivity 2022. The recording is shared below.
We all know that a positive school culture is critical for the wellbeing of all school community members, and intrinsic to student learning and progress. Whatever action we choose to take, intentionality is a key ingredient in the continuing journey to promote positivity. And remember, MiniPD coaches can help you and your colleagues flourish in a culture of positive learning and increased outcomes.
Want to learn more?
- Madeson, M., (2017). Seligman’s PERMA+ Model Explained: A Theory of Wellbeing. [Online]. Available at: https://positivepsychology.com/perma-model/ (Accessed 08/10/22)
- MiniPD Coaches (September, 2022). Promoting Positivity, Strategies from Educators
- Responsive Classroom (2016). The Joyful Classroom: Practical Ways to Engage and Challenge Students K-6. Center for Responsive Schools Inc.
- Willingham, D. T., Why don’t students like school? A cognitive Scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom. NJ. Jossey Bass
- Young Wales, (2010) Practical Approaches to Behaviour Management in the Classroom. A handbook for teachers in secondary schools. cymru.gov.uk.
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