Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Primary and Nursery School in England Uses Our "Flourishing" Approach

We are delighted to learn that Millbrook Primary and Nursery School in Manchester, England, is using our book, Flourishing in the First Five Years: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to the Development of Young Children, to underpin their educational approach to learning and teaching.

We wrote Flourishing in the First Five Years to take readers on a fascinating journey of discovery about what can be done to help young children realize more of their unique potential for learning. The educators at Millbrook have rightly zeroed in on our treatment of the topic of teaching young children how to become self-regulated learners, one of the main ideas from our book.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

4 Ways to Create an Optimistic School Culture

Imagine if each school day every teacher arrived with a contagious, optimistic attitude. Research suggests that positive emotions can help solve problems, reinforce resilience, strengthen relationships, and even improve educational outcomes. An important aspect of effective leadership is creating and supporting environments that cultivate optimism, and the start of a brand new year is a great time to cultivate this attitude in your practice!

Here are four of our practical strategies for creating a positive and optimistic school culture.

1. Practice self-care.

Educators do the essential and difficult work of schooling young people, so it is important for them to remember to practice self-care. After one of our leadership workshops, a principal asked, “What can I do to reduce my stress?” He said he felt pressure to perform at peak levels—all day, every day—when meeting with teachers and interacting with students. We shared that leaders can benefit from practicing the be-great-for-eight-and-take-a-break strategy. When possible, focus on leadership work for eight minutes then take a short pause to reflect. The principal stated that he loved this idea, and a big smile appeared on his face. He said, “This is a much better idea than what I usually attempt to do, which is to be full on full time, which makes me frustrated and exhausted.”