Have you ever walked into a school or a business and felt positive energy? This perception usually starts at the first encounter with a representative of that organization. We all want to work in an environment that is welcoming and inviting, a place that has a noticeably positive atmosphere! More importantly than for adults is having a positive and nurturing culture for kids.
Providing that positive environment is one of the basics to providing a great education. Kids can’t learn until they are fed, feel safe and feel nurtured. They need to know that it is okay to make mistakes. They need to learn that they are in control of their future. They need to have trust in the adults around them.
The administrative team of USD No. 113 will be spending a professional development day this summer with the specific intention of improving the climate in each USD No. 113 school. The goal is to continue to improve the positive learning culture of our classrooms and buildings.
As we look at areas for improving school culture, the first place to look is within each of us. One goal for our children is the desire for them to be positive people. How do we grow positive people? Surround them by positive adults. Smiles, kind words and the modeling of positive interactions are great places to start!
Being positive is not only about what we do, it is also about what we don’t do. One of author Jon Gordon’s books is the No Complaining Rule. Gordon suggests that organizations foster a sense of positivity by establishing the expectation that the right to complain is earned when solutions are offered. Solutions help us to solve a problem, improving the situation.
Complaining without solutions creates more problems. It is detrimental to our physical and emotional health. Whether done by a teacher, a parent or student, complaining without working toward a solution hurts the complainer and those who are listening. Complaining is often done out of habit.
If each of us takes responsibility for the success of a team or for our role in educating kids, and we don’t make excuses or point fingers, we will teach kids that effort and attitude matter. When we as adults start blaming kids, parents, teachers, coaches or referees, we are modeling the idea that work and effort do not matter as much as these external factors, that the result is out of our control. This is not a lesson that positions our children for success.
Together let’s fight negativity, let’s emphasize how our actions control our destiny, let’s continue the difficult work of building a school district with a positive climate. Each of us can be more positive.
Take a day and make a complaining inventory. Does complaining dominate your actions and speech? Or is there focus toward finding solutions for continual improvement? Our actions influence others. Most importantly, our children are influenced. We can positively shape the future by the positivity that we share on a daily basis.
Todd Evans27 Posts
Todd Evans currently serves as Superintendent of Prairie Hills USD No. 113 in Kansas. USD No. 113 operates Pre-K through 12 schools in the communities of Sabetha, Wetmore and Axtell.