Leading Schools into the New Year with Optimism
Published on Jan 12, 2022 by Jess Reider
How administrators can build realistic optimism for educators and students going into the new year.
For the last two years, students, educators, and administrators have faced a difficult period of adjustment. Having to unlearn conventional approaches to education and accepting the reality that there is no real return to "normal," schools have navigated hybrid learning styles, integrated new tools and technology, and so much more. Because of these factors, it’s easy to fall into negative patterns of thinking. Administrators have the opportunity to introduce realistic optimistic thinking to encourage teachers, students, and entire school ecosystems to approach hardships more productively.
When students are hindered by negative thoughts or outlooks, it can be much harder for them to imagine themselves going on to succeed in their future. As an administrator, there are several ways you can boost morale through realistic optimism.
Be selective with new initiatives - To yield the most successful results in this new landscape for education, many students and teachers are being overwhelmed with new tech and tools. Take a step back and assess what is simply shiny and new versus what works to enhance learning.
Recognize and celebrate victories - Recognition from a leader in a school’s community can go a long way in boosting morale and helping encourage others to work toward more positive outcomes. Celebrate successes in your school publicly and often.
Provide service opportunities - Research shows that students benefit from helping others. By providing service opportunities, students and teachers alike can see the positive impact of an optimistic action or worldview.
Acknowledge the negatives - An important aspect of realistic optimism is just that, being realistic. Acknowledge and address the issues hindering progress to work through what you can and turn it into a positive.
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