The Power of Positive Thinking: Teacher Edition!

This part 3 of a 4-part series for teachers on reflection, rejuvenation and relaxation. If you missed part 1 and 2 click HERE!

As a lifelong learner committed to living the PBL model, I do a lot of learning on my own. I listen to podcasts while I’m traveling, I read every night, I ask for teacher feedback often, and I blog often to process my thoughts. While doing these things over the course of the past year, the resources listed below really helped shift my thinking to appreciate the power of positivity. Through these resources I have come to believe that sometimes less is more, and a simple focus on what is going well can be enough to make complex changes in our behavior.

*Jumpstart Your PBL Journey By Focusing on the Bright Spots

When we reflect on our early experiences with PBL it can quickly become a downward spiral of all the ways we fell short, because (#realtalk alert:) PBL IS HARD TO DO WELL! I encourage teachers to do two things to avoid feeling overwhelmed in the planning phase. These recommendations will help you generate a more efficient and effective reflection phase of project planning:

  • Have a very focused North Star for quality PBL, that only includes 3 things your staff is striving to achieve over the course PBL implementation (links below on defining your North Star and how to go about this process)
  • From your North Star commit to do ONE thing well in each project. when we are laser focused on doing one thing well, we are more likely to experience success. This one thing can then also become the focus of our reflection-also, avoiding an overwhelming wave of “shoulda coulda woulda” during the end of a project or the school year.

Example: If our staff identified “authenticity”, “ student collaboration” and “best practices in formative assessment” as our North Star for HQPBL, I might just focus on “authenticity” as I plan my project Enduring Understanding, exhibition plans and field work experiences. I would use this focus to inform my planning and ultimately zoom in on this for my reflection.

So, where did you nail it? Capture those Bright Spots in a moleskin, in the Notes app or Evernote app on your phone, or a comment on your teacher project calendar as a ‘note to self’ for next year. Then turn those Bright Spots into 3 goals and now you’ve got your work boots ready and waiting for you for next year!

Jenny’s Favorite Resources to Up Your Reflection Game: