I’ve always been a teacher who wants students to be happy in the classroom. I want them to like coming to school and to like learning for the pleasure of learning itself. As a result, a lot of my energy went into creating engaging, personally enjoyable learning environments for students. Don’t get me wrong, I feel the pressures of accountability, assessment and ‘covering the curriculum’ – all important – but in my mind, not more important than how a learner felt about their own learning.
As we start into a new school year, students and teachers alike enjoy that ‘fresh start’ kind of feeling. A fresh chance to start again, try new things, refocus ourselves.
What if your focus this year was to have a class full of happy learners? What would you do differently? How would you explain that primary goal to parents, colleagues and your administrators? Would a little information from a cognitive psychologist be helpful?
If you can find 12 minutes this first week of school to listen to Shawn Achor’s Tedx Talk: happy secret to better work I think you’ll be glad that you did! Think about your happiness and fulfillment as an educator in addition to that of your students as you watch it.
One big takeaway for me was the following, related to how positivity affects learning:
“The lens through which your brain views the world shapes your reality.”
What was yours?