The power of positivity...
I can't say when it started, but I grew to LOVE greeting my students at the door before each class with either a "GOOD MORNING!" (before noon) or "HELLLLOOO!" (after noon). Of course, I had a few students who put their head down as I loudly greeted them, but a majority of students loved the greeting. If I got caught up in prepping for the next class and was late to the door for greetings, there were usually several students waiting- they refused to enter without me saying it. When I had a sub, students proudly shared they greeted students for me. There were many days when I did not feel much like being positive, but forcing myself to greet students always improved my mood. The simple act of greeting people made an impact on me, my students, and my colleagues.
I started missing those greetings with my students and colleagues, so I brought it back to my office here in DC. It elevated my spirits and apparently the spirits of my colleagues as I walked in one day just to drop off some treats and I was told they had tried the good morning greeting in the office, but they couldn't do it justice. And during an informal evaluation with the chief of staff, I was told that my positivity had changed the way the office was operating. Apparently, everything was awkward after the return to the office from COVID. People were masking, keeping their distance, getting used to being in contact with other people again, but the office was a more joyous place again because of me. It was the nicest thing she could have said.
I also happened to be wearing my Kermit the Frog sneakers and she asked me why I loved Kermit so much. She told me that my reply was deeper than she had anticipated. Jim Henson had such an impact of children around the world through Sesame Street and the Muppets. His goal was always to leave the world a better place than he found it. Kermit gets frustrated but always keeps his positive attitude. He sees others as their true selves since he is being his true self (It's not Easy Being Green).
This past weekend, I found a statue of Jim and Kermit at the University of Maryland- College Park. I was overcome with a sense of joy and peace sitting with them. Just hope that I can be like Jim- and leave the world a better place. Say hello to a stranger, call a friend you haven't talk to in awhile, find time to hug your family- be a force of positive in our increasingly negative world.