Can you ‘infect’ others with the way you think and what implications would this have in a school?
The way we think really can go viral because positive or negative, it is contagious.
If you work in a school that’s buzzing, bouncing and full of positive energy then this is going to rub off on you and pretty much everyone else. Then again if you work in a toxic wasteland then sour and bitter thinking will do its worst.
We are all cognitively vulnerable but stick people together who moan and you will feed the doom and gloom until it starts to seep into every crevice of the building and then it becomes part of the culture. Yes, the bad news is that you can catch someone’s mindset like catching a cold or the flu.
Oberle and Schonert-Reich (2016) found that stressed out teachers can pass on their stress to their students and this isn’t good for anyone. Emotional wellbeing is what we all need to function at our best but with 1 in 10 children having a mental health problem then we can’t afford to let negative thinking spread. As Ofsted’s new wellbeing report says, school’s have to play their part to improve their staff’s well-being although the responsibility is a collaborative one.
It’s good to be contagious and to spread positive thinking and happiness. We all need plenty of that. Here’s something to try – ask your colleagues what blood type they are. If they aren’t B Positive then it’s bleeding obvious they need a transfusion. Can you provide the positivity they need?
If the staffroom is a poisonous playpen then clearly you’ve got your work cut out but it only takes a couple of people to be positive to start making waves. Surrounding yourself with supportive people takes time but take responsibility and avoid the negativity traps.
Ditch the drama, practice gratitude, be a ‘can-do’ person, find the silver lining and be kind.