Tag Archives: hope




Teaching Hope

The holiday season helps us remember that teaching our students to hope is our most important job.  While you enjoy your holiday break, take time to reflect on the important role that hope plays in your classroom.  How can you instill hope in your students in the new year?


Hope accelerates learning.

Hope is the lubricant for all future successes.

We need to sell hope harder than we push our subject matter.

Without hope winning in life is impossible.

Hope will help steer your students through all of life’s challenges.

We need to instill hope first before we assign any project.

A Dozen Ways to Build Hope

Building hope

  1. Look for ways to make your students shine.  Everyone has some kind of special talent. Find it and then find a way to capitalize on it.
  2. Describe in detail the successes you see in a student’s future.  Hope may first come from someone we admire visualizing our success and describing it to us.
  3. Make one-on-one eye contact with a student.  Don’t just glance or teach over their heads.
  4. Describe to your students a time in your own life when you may have felt hopeless.  Then recount how the situation resolved itself.
  5. Point out progress.  Don’t save all your accolades for perfection.
  6. Bring your own enthusiasm to the classroom. Not feeling it?  Fake it.
  7. Sit down next to a student at their desk and chat.
  8. Be approachable.  Let students know how they can find you for a private conversation.
  9. Listen!
  10. Hear them out as they describe all the reasons why they can’t win, be accepted, or succeed.  Then YOU make them listen to all the reasons why you know they can.  Support your opinions with stories, facts and observations.
  11. Reflect.  Think about specific students while you aren’t with them and brainstorm ways in which you can build hope within them.
  12. Let them know you were thinking about them.  Be specific.  “While I was driving to school, I was thinking about you.  Here’s what I was thinking…You have no idea how talented you are.” (It is so powerful to know that a teacher cares about us and thinks about our well-being even when we aren’t in the classroom).

TEACH...To Change Lives

TEACH…To Change Lives
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 Autographed or in large quantities from the author dauna@cinci.rr.com

Choose Hope


Is Hope a Choice?

On my writing desk is a quote from Maya Angelou that I keep visible. It says…

” Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  Invite one to stay.”

Yes, hope is a choice.  Invite it into your life. Even when the economy is frightening and we are job searching with no successes, choose hope.  Even when the doctor gives you scary information, hope is still an option.  When we let fear take over it paralyzes us.  Fear leads to inaction.  Inactivity feeds fear.

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Simple Steps for Finding Hope

  • Lucky for us, hope is as contagious as the common cold.  We can catch it from hopeful people.  So hanging out with hopeful, optimistic people is the first order of business.  We all have people we know who lift our spirits.  Call them, email them, ask them to lunch.

  •  Put your pessimistic friends on a back burner for just a while until your hope returns.

  • Get moving.  Activity builds hope and extinguishes fear.  Do something.

  • Read positive uplifting books.  Try and own them so you can use a highlighter.  Re-read the highlighted sections whenever you feel your hope start to slip.

  • Listen to an uplifting CD.  I have favorite speakers on CDs who make me feel as though I can accomplish anything.  Sure, it takes work on my part.  But hope helps me make a choice to move forward…to go to work.

  • Help someone else.  However desperate your situation, you have skills or words that can help someone else.  Giving our time and talents to others rekindles the hope in us.

  • You think you have nothing to give?  Just listen.  In this day of technology overload, people are desperate for eye contact and a pair of listening ears.

  • Listen to upbeat music.  Sing along.  Get into it.

  • Plan something you’ve never done before.  Be spontaneous.

Hope is a choice.  Invite it into your life daily.  Reject fear.  Beat it with a stick if you have to.  When you are feeling hopeful again, sneeze on pessimistic people and pass it on.