Do you see the glass half full or the glass half empty? We all know this common metaphor for optimism vs. pessimism. But I never thought about how an optimistic mindset can have such a significant impact on learning until a recent article in Time magazine particularly resonated with me. We have been talking a lot about perseverance at the Middle School lately, and we will all year. What makes a person persevere in the face of challenges? As for optimists, this article says, “Their optimism enables them to continue to strive in the face of difficulty, while pessimism leaves them depressed and resigned to failure — even expecting it.”
You may notice that the world gives us plenty of reasons to focus on the negative, which makes it all the more necessary to work with students and one another to look at the world with hopeful eyes that see what can be done. Here is an article that offers some suggestions for how we can model and nurture the resilient, “can do” mindset of the optimist.