You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister inbetween
A little jaunty intro music as the students come in never did anyone any harm!
As the first assembly of the year, I begin by talking about resolutions. I refer here to Alex Quigley’s blog about forming good habits in New Year, New Habit? Tips for New Year’s Resolutions, and in particular this excellent graphic from Charles Duhigg’s ideas:
Of course, I’ll use Calvin and Hobbes as well, as they always have plenty of good things to say about resolutions!
My resolution for 2014 is to accentuate the positive in everything I do. This will include the Bill-Rogers-inspired positive language pledge that I took in February, banishing “stop talking” for “please be silent”, and “don’t be late” for “please be on time.” However, I will also be extending this into a growth mindset approach to teaching and learning in the new year, looking to turn setbacks into learning opportunities. I will be planning opportunities for my students to fail in the classroom by pitching lessons just beyond what they can currently do, so that they can develop better. For this to work I will need to teach a positive attitude to failure.Who better to illustrate this than Nelson Mandela, who said: “the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” I will also refer to some of the examples from my Failure Assembly from last year, including Lionel Messi and the great Pete Docter, creator of Buzz Lightyear, Carl Fredericksen and director of Monsters Inc.
To conclude, I will discuss the positive aspect of schooling and the opportunities in front of the students in 2014. Mandela himself said “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Students need to ensure that they have a positive impact on themselves and their communities in all their actions and endeavours, referring back to the incredible example of Malala Yousafzai:She is an example of true greatness and positivity, turning the ultimate setback – being shot in the head – into a true opportunity for growth. As Mandela said:
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.”
So what will you resolve this year?