Photo by Moises de Paula

Right now we all need a positivity button.

In New Zealand, the shifting sand of managing this pandemic is taking its toll. The ‘rules’ change frequently, unpredictably, and quickly. Good people (that’s you) turn themselves inside out trying to lead their schools well in this climate.

Lay over the top of this the usual pressure points of next year’s staffing, setting budgets, reviewing strategic plans and the fact that Susan in Room 3 is really tired and is taking that out on everyone in her class . . . 

With the constant unpredictability and shear workload framing what we do, it’s very easy to slip into a little spiral of negative thinking . . . and that is exactly where the positivity button comes in.

.   .   .

You may be surprised to learn the button is an actual thing. 

My one was given to me by one of the team as a mystery gift at our staff Christmas party two years ago. From the moment I first pushed it I knew it was going to be really useful.

Here it is – 



When you push it, it plays one of five pre-recorded ‘positive’ messages. They’re done in a cheery Australian accent and are cringe makingly cheesy . . . which is where the magic comes in – it makes people smile.

No one is immune to its power – not staff nor students (I haven’t had the nerve to use it with an unhappy parent yet, but one day . . . ).

The message is random so it is easy to build a little theatre around it by saying “this is just for you”, pushing it, and watching the reaction. It really works well when the message completely contradicts the way the person is feeling or acting. If the message doesn’t resonate, you just push it again. My favourite is, “I am calm and Zen like” although the kids seem to like “I am going to have a really, really good day”, and teachers often like “I am  beautiful” (which is said with utter conviction).

Here’s some samples:

I have a strong sense that the next 6 weeks are going to test us all to our limits and for less than $20 you can create some simple fun in amongst it all. Dare you to.



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