Encouraging a positive attitude among students is one of the most crucial aspects of being a teacher. Sometimes it can make all the difference in the world in terms of how learners approach your subject.
Not only does the positive attitude make your life as a teacher easier but it also has a beneficial effect on students' mental, emotional, and even physical well-being.
Moreover, having a positive attitude is one of those things that will be beneficial for them no matter where they end up later in life and no matter which career they choose. So if you teach them how to have a positive attitude then you can be sure that your efforts will be appreciated for many decades to come.
How can you help your students and encourage them to develop this truly life-changing skill?
Well if you want to find out then you will just have to keep on reading.
1. Lead by example.
Children are much smarter than we give them credit for. They observe everything adults do and imitate their actions and their attitude. So if you want your students to have a positive attitude then the first thing you must do is lead by example and show a positive attitude yourself.
In fact, leading by example is so important that it doesn't just concern teachers. All adults who come into contact with a child need to remain optimistic and positive if they want the young ones to follow suit.
2. Encourage your students to look at the big picture.
Sometimes we tend to get caught up in the details and this can be quite demotivating as various small obstacles make the problem seem worse than it actually is.
For example, if a student does hours' worth of homework on a daily basis they will understandably feel exhausted which might cause them to lose motivation. So instead of focusing on the homework encourage students to look at the big picture and see why they need education.
Remind them about the sweet fruit that this bitter seed will bear and how the hours they put into their homework now will translate into better test scores, admission into better colleges, and better quality of life in the end.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, as they say, and constantly reminding children of their final goal will foster a positive attitude and encourage them to keep going forward.
3. Do not make negative remarks.
Negative remarks are hard to hear for anybody but particularly for a young impressionable child who does not have enough self-confidence yet to ignore those negative remarks. So avoiding negative remarks is something every adult should try to do when they are communicating with children, but it is particularly important if you are a teacher who is trying to foster a positive attitude in the classroom. One throwaway negative remark can fester in a child's mind for months or even years after you have forgotten it.
It is also important to address any negative remarks child makes themselves.
For example, if you're trying to encourage them to do something and they tell you that they can't do it or it is not worth doing don't just leave them alone and turn to another child. Address their attitude towards the task at hand and try to encourage them to give it a try.
And if they do try and don't succeed then this presents you with a perfect opportunity to teach them how to deal with failure.
Students should learn that there is no shame in not succeeding right away. It is only a failure if they give up, if they don't give up it is merely as feedback. They should learn how to accept the feedback, analyze the mistakes they made and try again.
4. The importance of positive reinforcement.
If you're trying to encourage your students to have a positive attitude in your classroom then you will need to teach them how to celebrate any small victories they earn. Positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in motivating students and the best thing about it is that you do not even need to try that hard. If one of your students does a great job simply look them in the eyes smile and say the words "great job" out loud. This is sufficient to give them that all-important confidence boost. Those two little words that took you just a second to utter will make a lot of difference.
Alternatively, if your student has done something truly remarkable then you can up the ante and reward them with a sticker or even a round of applause accompanied by cheers from you and their peers.
Positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment when it comes to motivating students. Just make sure that when you are dishing out compliments they have been rightfully earned.
5. Positivity on the silver screen.
With the advancement of technology nowadays teachers have the ability to show their students various films and TV shows. Some teachers have even started showing their students some interesting YouTube videos to explain concepts or convey new information.
When we speak about the internet and social media we usually tend to focus on the negative stuff that is out there. But it isn't all doom and gloom. In fact, there are a lot of inspiring and positive stories floating around on the World Wide Web and they're all up for grabs!
There are millions of articles and videos that show inspiring people who are doing positive things and helping their communities.
You can watch videos about heroes risking their lives to save defenseless animals, people helping financially disadvantaged members of society, and so on.
In conclusion, inspiring a positive attitude in your students is crucial but luckily for you, it isn't that hard to do. And you have a very good ally in the form of modern technology.