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Are you Positive?

Question from Quora: What are some ways to increase positive attitude in classroom teaching? Why is it important for teachers to have positive attitudes towards their students and profession? How can this be achieved?


I’m going to start with the second question:

Q. Why is it important for teachers to have positive attitudes towards their students and profession?

A. Having a positive attitude colors everything in life and is especially important in teaching because the teacher’s attitude affects every student, every day. If a teacher has a negative attitude towards their profession then this will show up in their teaching and is unhealthy for the teacher an for the students.

Q. What are some ways to increase positive attitude in classroom teaching? How can this be achieved?

A. Address and solve the issues that detract from the teaching experience whenever possible. This will go a long way in helping teachers have a positive attitude.

For example:

Having difficult students every day can make it hard for a teacher to have a positive attitude. If the classroom management plan is solid, the teacher is enforcing the plan with consequences and there are still serious behavior problems with some students then administration needs to support that teacher. One serious way to harm a teacher’s positive attitude is to have students that are so out of control that they should not be in a classroom. A teacher can do their best to have a good behavior management plan but they do not have time to completely train an individual student in basic function skills. Students that are unmanageable need to be removed to a different setting. Teachers need a good supply budget so that they are not constantly spending their own money for student supplies. Teachers should not be asked to do too many extra-curricular tasks when they already have a huge amount of work doing their best to teach/plan/grade etc..

The teacher can:

Design lesson plans that are interesting, engaging and relevant for the students. This is fun for the teacher as well and will contribute to a positive attitude. Find ways to reduce workload by evaluating work in class instead of taking it home. This can be done in a way that is better for the students as well. (For more information on this topic, see Chapter 34-Overwhelmed: Too Many Papers to Grade, in my book, Wait, Don’t Quit.) Try not to say “yes” to all the extra duties that they are often asked to do. Some are required but some are not. Reach out to colleagues and collaborate with them whenever possible. Guard their prep time. This can be tough to do sometimes but it’s essential to maintaining a positive attitude. Connect with students when walking around the classroom to get to know them as early as possible in the school year. This goes a long way in building a good rapport.



Final Thought: Having a positive attitude is especially important in teaching because it affects the students too. Some teaching days this can be tough so it’s important for a teacher to be supported by administration and it’s important to collaborate with colleagues.


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