Come join us at my most recent positive psychology workshop.
Have fun and do the interactive exercises with us!
Video Clip of the Workshop:
OPTIMISM BOOTCAMP is based on an article of the same name that I recently wrote for my psychology column in The Drive Magazine.
I believe that optimism is a life skill that can be learned. A thriving mindset that helps people focus on what’s within their control. Making it easier to let go and move on to what matters most: Life itself 💃💥
Very honoured to sit down with Dr. Andrea Dinardo this week and divulge all my lemon soul questions with her. A true testament to her work as a psychologist and now psychology professor, this episode is FULL of good advice! With a deeper insight into many of our mental health struggles and the science behind how our brain is working. Furthermore diving into Dr. Dinardo’s personal life as she uncovers her fundamental inspiration for everything she does in life, her sister.
Topics covered on the podcast:
From psychologist to psychology professor!
How to motivate students!
Why connection is important. Compassion fatigue
The givers & the takers Setting boundaries for others and ourselves.
Thriving Under Pressure! Failure as Feedback! Are we socialized to care?
How to train your brain
Challenge, Control, & Commitment Honour your pain!
B r e a t h i n g s p a c e ! The universe box Claiming your prize GET MOVING!
I hope this podcast interview inspires you to take the road less traveled this week.
The one you have been waiting to take for days, months, perhaps years.
In this short video I share the thoughts that go through my mind as I walk into a classroom and meet my psychology students for the first time. I also discuss the specifics of how I connect with and encourage students each new day.
What goes through your mind when you walk into a room?
Hot coffee. Cozy blankets. Birds singing. The sun rising. Fast runs. Slow walks. Long days. Warm hugs. Peaceful silences. BLT sandwiches. Tomato soup. Matinee movies. Buttery popcorn. Ice cold pop. Walking on campus. Smiling in the hallways. Laughing with students. Learning from students. Driving home. Soulful conversations. Dreaming of the future. Reminiscing about the past. Living fully in the moment. Riding bikes. Dancing down the street. Barbeque dinners. Chocolate almonds. Stephen King novels. Hot Tea. Cozy Blankets. Birds Singing…
Nothing is more extraordinary than our ordinary joys. For how we live our days is how we live the whole of our lives.
Competing with a machine is a downhill battle. Instead, teachers must focus on what they do best – connecting with students. Ratherthan lamenting about students being glued to their smartphone, teachers should consider whystudents do it in the first place. You can’t solve a problem if you’re not asking the right question.
Step #1 Discover the underlying cause.
There is no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we live and learn. Which is why educators (including myself) must take a step back and reframe the smartphone problem.Student distractibility existed long before smartphones. Lack of attention is the common denominator.
We doodled. They text.
We passed notes. They facebook.
Step #2 Reexamine how you teach.
We all have an idea in our mind about how we perform at work. Yet the only way we will ever have an accurate picture of our performance is to collect data on our concrete behaviours. Click on Teacher Behaviors Inventory (TBI) to obtain a PDF of this suggested assessment tool (used in my doctoral research).
Sample items from TBI inventory –
The TBI assessment tool will help determine how you engage students, capture their attention, and sustain curiosity with instant gratification just one click away. The TBI also includes a measure of how you spark student interest and arouse curiosity in the lessons you teach. Completing the inventory will give you a baseline of your current teaching techniques. It will help identify areas of strength and challenge (potential growth).
Step #3 Model what you expect.
The next step in student engagement is to “become” what you expect from your students. Motivate students by being motivated! For example, I write motivational quotes on the blackboard each day. The goal is to model each quote I post. And encourage students to do the same.
Grab attention by being attentive to the unique needs of each student, and responsive to the distinct personality of each class. Engage students by being engaged, passionate, and excited about the topics you teach. Enthusiasm is contagious! Stimulate curiosity by being curious about how students think.
Step #4 Show students you care.
In order to move from instant gratification to meaningful interactions in school (and in life), we must show students how much we care. We must be present and mindful in our own classrooms. And in tune with each student and teaching moment.
For students need to know how much their learning matters. How much they matter. Week after week. Class after class. Students are our reason.
I used to think about life purpose as some great big grand scheme for life, something we spend our whole life chasing after. Daunting for sure. At times overwhelming.
Then one day I realized that life purpose was a series of small, fleeting events, rather than one great big span of life. Bite size in fact. It’s the one thing we love doing, time and time again. Over and over. Day by day. It’s the one thing we love sharing. Moment to moment. Breath by breath.
What make’s your heart sing?
For me it’s making the person right in front of me (no matter who they are) feel like the most important person in the world. Engaging fully, completely, in every conversation I have. No matter how long. No matter how short.
I love making someone’s day brighter.
Whether it be lifting the spirits of my psychology students. Encouraging the barista at Starbucks. Smiling at runners on the trail. Sending my mom an uplifting email. Opening the door for someone at the college. Listening intently to my husband at the end of a long day. (Hint: No cell phone in hand.)
(Bite size) Mission for this Moment.
My hope for today is to make you feel like the centre of my universe. One smile at a time. One conversation at time. If only for a moment. (Sometimes for a lifetime.) Because you matter. More than you’ll ever know.