I love sharing ideas with students.
I can’t imagine a better moment in life to learn about purpose and empowerment than when we are young.
Which is why I embrace every opportunity to share the principles of positive psychology with students across Canada.
The most recent opportunity being a conference called: “You Can Do College.”
- 600 grade 10 students from 14 high schools participated in the 2 day conference.
The purpose of the event was to introduce high school students to all the programs available to them when they graduate in a few years.
Showing them that if they work hard today — “They Can Do College” in the future. Whether it be as a civil engineer, a veterinary technician, a nurse, or an early childhood educator.
The choice is theirs to make.
Students are our future.
My job as a Motivational Speaker was to ignite their inner flame for higher learning. This is what I was born to do! 🔥
Pay attention to the person right in front of you. They have something to teach you.
Connecting with audience members is essential for me. No matter how big or small the crowd.
Accordingly, I encouraged students to answer as many questions as they could (which they did!) as I walked and talked freely with the large crowd.
Hoping to meet as many of the 600 students as I could.
One of my favourite moments was when the young gentleman above shared his lifelong dream of becoming an engineer.
Just listening to his mission shifted me to a higher place.
The icing on the cake was hearing about destiny from a student named Destiny.
Destiny aspires to be a cosmetologist to the stars one day. How cool is that!
The next time you meet a student, ask them about their dreams. The stress they’re experiencing immediately disappears.
As a psychology professor and former school psychologist, I talk about mental health issues with students every single day.
My classroom is a safe place for students to be themselves.
Which is critical when working with youth (18-24) who represent the highest proportion of individuals with mental illness.
Education helps bridge the gap between fear and freedom.
And so does an open heart. And an open mind.
I believe in my students. In their potential. In their dreams.
I believe in their ability to overcome challenge, adversity, and self-stigma.
Students need my support and encouragement.
And an educational community that truly cares.
Because self-stigma is real.
And often more silencing than social stigma.
Because sharing our story is one of the scariest and most liberating things we’ll ever do.
Be it about mental illness or another vulnerable part of our lives.
Which is why the best place to open up the conversation about mental illness is to meet students where they are.
These are their words.
Ontario student mental health helpline ⇒ Visit Good2Talk.ca
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
I value positivity and a sense of security in the classroom, above all else.
For it is only when students feel safe, supported, and uplifted are they motivated to learn.
Creating a harmonious classroom atmosphere happens long before the school bell rings.
Which is why my preparation for teaching psychology includes both energetic and intellectual preparation.
Ultimately, the more relaxed and happy I am, the more calm and content my students will be.
I am grateful for every student I teach and I want to make sure that they get the best of me.
Energetic Preparation for Teaching = Exercise
Intellectual Preparation for Teaching = Textbooks
How do you prepare for work each day?
My job description as a psychology professor includes this quote. Because first you foster peace and positivity. Then you teach. 🍎
Related Post: Let peace begin with me.
I wrote this on the blackboard for my nursing students today.
This is their final week of classes. Which means one final opportunity for me to encourage their success.
This is my favourite part of teaching psychology. Every time I face a challenge, I imagine how I can translate it into a motivating lesson for my students.
Thoughts ⇔ Motivation ⇔ Action
Transforming thought patterns is critical for student motivation and success. As what happens behind our eyes is as powerful as what happens in front of our eyes.
Reframe your thoughts. Reignite your motivation.
Instead of thinking of nursing school as an obstacle to overcome. Reframe it as superhero training. Heros save lives. And so do nurses. Every single day.
Will it be easy? No ↑ Will it be worth it? Yes!
Related Post: Staying Motivated During a Challenge.
How do you reframe to reignite motivation?
By focusing on strengths first, I buffer myself against the vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue often associated with the practice of psychology. And in turn, my positive approach heightens the resilience and stress hardiness in others. (Boomerang effect!)
Everywhere I go, I’m on the lookout for genius. And I don’t mean genius in the general sense. I mean strengths, assets, gifts, capabilities, multiple intelligences that are unique to each person. (Einstein’s quote below captures it perfectly.)
For not only is strengths finding essential for illuminating the abundance in others, it is essential for harnessing the bounty in ourselves.
As each time we witness the light shining brightly in another, we see their radiance reflected back in ourselves.
Identify 2-5 strengths that you witnessed in others today. Describe how seeing the strengths in others brought out the strengths in you.
- Today I discovered my brother’s ___________. This illuminated my:
- Today I noticed my colleague’s ____________. This bolstered my:
- Today I uncovered my neighbour’s __________. This reinforced my:
Related Post: Positive Psychology on Campus.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C. S. Lewis
When was the last time you had to start over?
This was a big week back at St. College College — and all colleges across Ontario. Students were returning to school after a 5 week province-wide strike.
An arduous situation that was well beyond student control.
So it was essential that I foster a safe space for students to transition back onto campus and into my psychology classroom. To help them begin again.
My intention was to bridge the gap from stress to strength.
To remind them of times in their lives where they had experienced the stress of starting over. Including the strike. And triumphed despite all the suffering.
For it is in our dark times that we discover our light. And it is in our pain that we find our power. Difficult times force us to dig deep for courage and reach out for support.
And ultimately discover a strength far greater than any adversity.
This week I have never been more proud to be a college professor.
This week students taught me.
What strengths have helped you through challenge & adversity?
Related: The Paradox of Strength.
Students, past and present, motivate me!
“The future of the world is in my classroom today.”
She said that an encouraging note and a picture with her professor would give her the motivation she needed to stay focused, work hard, and study throughout the semester.
Of course I said yes! It was a full circle moment. For my students are my motivation. And everything I do is with their success in mind.
Related Post: Staying motivated in the midst of a challenge.