As I think back to my time as a youngster, I remember all of the amazing teachers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from (hello to Mr. Miller, Mr. Rotante, and Coach Griffith!). All of the best educators that I’ve encountered in my life had one thing in common . . . they were positive people. Their positivity was absolutely contagious and now, as I continue to grow as a school-based speech-language pathologist, I want to continue to spread that positivity to as many students as I possibly can.
I’m going to share with you the 3 daily habits that I have added to my routine that I believe are helping to spread positivity in the lives of my students. I invite each of you to try on these habits to see if they fit you well (I know they will!).
1. Give more compliments!
When I walk down the hallway, en route to pick up a speech therapy group, I give compliments to random students I see. Whether I know ’em or not, I still throw compliments their way.
“Hey you! I like that Spiderman backpack.”
“Yo! Did you get a hair cut? It looks great.”
Little compliments like this can sure make someone’s day. You know how I know? Because I get all warm and fuzzy inside when someone gives me a compliment. And remember when I said that positivity was contagious? Well, I have been noticing that some of these random students will now shoot ME random compliments when they see ME in the hallway. Mission accomplished!
2. Ask for more directions!
When I walk down the hallway, I will often ask a random student for help by inquiring where a certain room is. For example, I might be going to pick up a speech group whose classroom is right by the gym. So I may ask a random student where the gym room is. Now, of course I know where the gym room is, but I randomly ask for directions because humans, by nature, are helpful creatures that love to help others, and children are no exception. So, why not give students more opportunities to be helpful? After I get the, “down the hallway and make a left” directions from the student, I give a huge high five and thank him for being so kind. Hopefully, our interaction positively impacted him in such a way that he will be just as kind to someone else’s question in the future. It’s all about planting those seeds of positivity!
3. Smile more!
Trust me, I know smiling isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes. I know sometimes we feel overworked and overloaded, but positivity is a choice and we can choose to smile more. I smile at every single student that passes me. Even if the student is looking down at the ground while walking, I try my hardest to make eye contact with that given student so that I can give ’em a bright smile. Why? Because a smile from a teacher let’s the student know that I’m happy he/she is a part of the school community. A smile communicates that he/she matters. And guess what, that student does matter. Every single one does and they should be reminded of that every single day!
In closing . . .
Maureen from TheSpeechBubble.com said it best when she wrote,“even though many of the students I come in contact with during the day are not ‘mine’, in that they are not ‘speech kids’, they are all ‘mine’. They can all benefit from a smile, greeting, a ‘good job’, or ‘cool shoes’.” So do me a favor – give some compliments tomorrow, ask for directions tomorrow, and smile a bunch tomorrow. Let me know how all of that made you feel, and also, how you think all of that made the students feel. 😉