Today's guest post is written by Matt Johnson who is an incredible educator in South Carolina.
A battery has two ends: a positive and a negative. When connected to a device requiring power, the end marked positive which houses a source of electrons will flow and deliver energy causing what once was powerless to become useful.
photo via motherearthnews.com
You're right. I had to look that up. But the connection to how we are to treat and respond to others especially kids is so vital to how they mature and grow up to be adults. Opponents of positive reinforcement say "That's not how the real-world works." But in order for students to make it to having life in the real-world, they must have good choices modeled for them and given that recognition for doing the right thing. But I get their point. I've never been rewarded for driving the speed limit.
Many young kids are so often told what's wrong with them causing a wealth of negativity to be housed inside their minds. Those kids come to school and don't know what is expected of them causing them to be, let's be honest, difficult to love. These kids are negatively charged in need of a source of electrons to flow and create what is currently powerless to become a powerful and useful source for many. Their bucket is empty in need of being filled. But guess what? This concept works for adults too!
How often do you tell someone you are glad to see them? No reason. Just glad they're here today!
Who was the last person you gave a handwritten note to tell them you're so proud of them?
When was the last time you played with kids at recess or sat down and had a conversation with them at lunch instead of talking to other adults?
What was the last word you spoke to your students at the end of the day? Did you tell them you can't wait to see them tomorrow?
What positive charge are you supplying to students and others you see each day?
So if you're like me having had to answer each of these questions, you may realize you
have a to-do list starting tomorrow. But understand this, one day of positivity to those so full
of negativity and expecting change tomorrow is like hooking a double A battery up to a
pickup truck. It will provide it some energy but that Hemi isn't going anywhere! So my words
for all of us are this: Be consistent, be persistent, but don't forget the power you have in
positive, yet voiceless actions such as smiles, hugs, fist bumps, and high-fives. So tonight
eat your spinach or if you're Mario, a spotted mushroom because it's time to Power Up! Our
kids need it. They deserve it!