For Teachers

Surefire Tips to Maintain a Positive Outlook in the Classroom

By The Room 241 Team January 7, 2020

Not every day is rainbows, unicorns, and cupcakes with sprinkles. Sometimes the only side of the bed you can wake up on is the wrong side.  And that’s okay. It’s all part of this big amazingly messy experience called life.

While you can’t necessarily control your mood or all the thoughts that pop into your head, you absolutely can control how you choose to handle them. Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you have to feel happy all the time. In fact, it should really be about seeing the best in people and situations even during the most difficult challenges.

So how can you choose positivity in the throes of a major funk? Keep reading for some rock-solid tips that are sure to make the sun come out and a cartoon bluebird land on your shoulder — no matter what’s got you down.

Switch your perspective

Sometimes all it takes to change your mood is to flip your perspective. Try looking at your life or your immediate situation from a different vantage point. Need a little help getting there? Remember this: Feeling low? ARGO!

  • Acceptance: Embrace the truth — not everything is going to go as planned. If you acknowledge that mistakes may happen, dealing with them can be a lot easier, which makes positivity more natural.
  • Resilience: Bounce back from the bad moments and failure instead of giving up. Failure should be an opportunity — a stepping stone to success — not the end of trying. 
  • Gratitude: Be thankful and appreciative of the pieces of your life — the good and the bad. Recognizing all that you have increases your positive outlook. 
  • Optimism: See every opportunity as a moment to learn, explore, and share. Take chances and see the reward in the results. 

Fake it til you make it

You aren’t going to feel super positive and chipper every day, but don’t let that keep you from behaving as if you are. Sometimes, you just need to fake it until the real deal arrives. Even a false positive will put an optimistic spin on the day for you and your students.

Did you know a fake smile can actually make you happy? YUP. The brain is an amazing thing, but somehow it can’t detect the difference between a genuine smile and a faux smile. This is awesome because it proves that you have the power to get happy!

Some simple activities to help you “make it.”

  • Put on some uplifting music as your students enter the room. 
  • Give high fives to teachers and students whenever you can. 
  • Show each student your best smile each time you say hello!

Enjoy humor more

Everyone loves a good laugh. In fact, laughter has a whole slew of benefits. From decreasing blood pressure to increasing serotonin, it makes sense to fit as much laughter into your day as possible and watch your positivity rise.

Use humor in unexpected ways:

  • Post a daily joke on your bulletin board. 
  • Add silly puns to your presentations.
  • Put comics into your tests, quizzes, and worksheets.
  • Enjoy the silliness of your students and laugh with them more often. 

Take a break

The long hours of teaching may seem never-ending, so it’s important to find even just a few moments to be by yourself, reenergize, and just breathe. “You time”  is important for continued positivity.

Squeeze in some alone time:

  • Enjoy your lunch without papers, lessons, homework, or other people at least once a week. 
  • Schedule 10 to 20 minutes of your plan time to enjoy something for yourself: a moment to read, watch a video, or journal. 
  • Plan some “me time” at home. Sometimes positivity can be increased when you have something special to look forward to. 

Decorate with positivity

Your students aren’t the only ones who can find inspiration in the decor of your classroom. Find small elements to decorate your classroom that bring joy to you and help inspire your optimism.

Decorate with you in mind too:

  • Are you a Harry Potter fanatic? Include those iconic round glasses and lightning bolts around the room. 
  • Frame your favorite book jackets and display them in your line of vision as you teach and work at your desk. 
  • Do you love jigsaw puzzles? Glue them when you’re finished and use them as art pieces. 

Make your language positive

Not only can your words communicate your thoughts, but they can affect the moods you feel and project. Positive words can remind you how great life is and uplift the mood of those you’re talking with.

Try more positive words:

  • When someone asks you how you are, skip the “fine” and answer with “fabulous,” “outstanding,” or “amazing.”
  • Tell your students today is going to be a dazzling day. Encourage marvelous work and kind-hearted attitudes. 
  • Use words that sparkle as much as the attitude you hope to have every day. 

Embrace the reals

Perfect days are the stuff of fantasies. You are undoubtedly going to encounter obstacles and hard times. You are going to make mistakes and have mornings where getting out of bed is the last thing you want to do. Do it anyway. And do it with a smile on your face.

Positivity is a choice and one you can opt for even on the cloudiest of days.

Ashley is an award-winning copywriter and content expert with more than a decade of proven results for national and local clients. From brainstorming high-end conceptual content to styling sentences that engage and convert, she’s got a knack for shattering the status quo. When she’s not in full-on writing mode, she’s hanging out with her rascal of a puppy and discussing the plausibility of unicorns with her 8-year-old daughter.

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