If we can face hard things or times with a sense that there’s something we can do about them, life becomes easier to live. In a time where we are all feeling quite overwhelmed this can be tough. But, hope can truly be the catalyst to get us to create and engage in other behaviors that do make things a little easier and enjoyable. And, performing these behaviors can, in turn, fuel more hope.
The following are ways to help both you and your students feel hopeful. These strategies are things we can do and ARE in our control even amid the pandemic, the overwhelming demands of in person, online and hybrid teaching and learning.
Demonstrate love. Demonstrating love for yourself is just as important as for your students. Be kind to yourself and your body by making sleep and movement priorities during this stressful time. Show kindness and care to your students by noticing them often and offering appreciations for the little things they do or say.
Show grace. Show grace for yourself and your students. This is a time to make a shift to reasonable expectations, a time to ask for help and to offer support if you see someone might need it.
Encourage the sharing of successes. Take inventory every day of your small wins. Ask students to do the same – what made you feel good about yourself or others today? Remember, a win and success doesn’t mean perfection. Instead look for anything you did, said or noticed about others that made you feel good.
You and your students deserve happiness and fun. So go for it – take 5 or 10 minutes at the start or end of class to have fun. Laugh, play music during class, sing a song, have a dance party, ask students to share funny stories or jokes.
In order to sustain this time, it is imperative that we let go of regret, worry and certainly perfection. Those things squash hope. Instead, focus on love, grace, successes and happiness to uplift and renew hope. Use Starr's samples from One-Minute Resilience Building Interventions for Traumatized Children and Adolescents to help brainstorming sessions around the concept of hope.