Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday PositivitTEE

I am so excited to have Sheila Kennedy as a guest blogger for Kindness180. We met on social media ands is always spreading positivity. Recently we were at a speakers retreat together and she shared with me how she started Monday PositiviTEE. I immediately thought that this would be the perfect Kindness180 challenge. Spreading kindness through a simple t-shirt can make a huge impact on those around you. Let's hear from Sheila herself! 
(Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @4sheilak)

Monday PositiviTEE
Have you ever longed for the weekend to last a little longer?  I hear it so many times:  the Sunday night blues, the Monday morning blues, the weekend went by too fast, not wanting the weekend to end; so many people share their feelings about the “dreaded work week” and not wanting to go to work on Monday. I can sympathize - get it, I really do, BUT I’m here to share with you how I used the Power of Positivity to put a positive spin on all of this and uplift those that are having a hard time with Monday mornings.  
I guess I should first give you a little background and introduce myself…it all began with my love obsession of positive quotes and inspirational tees; I can't seem to have enough...I mean who doesn't love a good quote, right? Anyone else? Anyway, I’m Sheila Kennedy and I am an energetic first grade teacher and applied positive psychology practitioner. While getting certified I was finally able to discover what makes me happy and uncover my purpose; my passion is positive psychology and my purpose is sharing this information with others.  Through the use of gratitude, kindness and a love of learning, I am doing just that!  

So back to the Monday mornings and my love for t-shirts with positive and inspiring messages… Last year I had often wore one to school on dress down Fridays with a pair of jeans but later decided to start wearing them to school on Monday mornings to spread a positive message at the start of the week rather than the end.  The message on these shirts put me in such a good mood and I wanted to share the effect of these printed words with others - words are so powerful! (The ease of finding something to wear Monday morning by selecting one of my many t-shirts didn’t hurt either – what a bonus, lol!)

When others would comment about a shirt I was wearing, I found myself sharing the power of positivity with them; how it can have an effect on our thoughts, our words and in our actions.  I began to realize that my positive message t-shirts were beginning to have a purpose; wearing a shirt with a positive message not only made me feel good when I looked in the mirror but the message was also on display for everyone I came into contact with. It didn’t matter whether they read it and reacted with a smile or read it and the message unconsciously went into their mind, what DID matter was that either way, those words were having the power to send messages to their brain which, in turn, reacted in a positive way with their body and their overall well-being.

As a result, sending a positive message to others through wearing an inspirational t-shirt became a ritual every Monday at Tinicum School. Now as I walked through the hallways of school, those who were dreading coming in in the morning were now greeted with a powerful and uplifting message, which often caused them to smile or to at least be curious about what my shirt said.  The shirts also became teachable mini-lessons with my first graders; they even began looking forward to seeing what Monday message I'd be wearing...students excited to come to school on a Monday morning? YES!!  So I turned it into a great kick off to my Monday morning meeting topic. As a class we’d discuss the message on my shirt- what it means, how it can affect each of us in our lives and how we can go out and spread positivity and kindness through taking actions based on the message.  As a teacher, a parent, and most importantly, a fellow human being, I believe THIS is what we want more of in our world!!

As the school year progressed, what happened next was proof of how positivity is not only powerful but it’s also contagious; my grade partner Emily began buying and wearing positive shirts on Mondays too, and then students began wearing them! Before I knew it, there were other teachers and staff members in my building asking where I had purchased my shirts because they wanted to start wearing positive messages on Monday as well.  When I was facilitating professional development, I began sharing this with them as well and the response was overwhelming…they wanted to bring the idea back to their schools too!  There is so much truth to the saying “We rise by uplifting others” for I have witnessed it with my own two eyes and felt it within my teacher heart.  Not only were the adults and children in my school being positively affected, but the school culture was too!
Seeing so many negative posts on social media about people having to show up for work on Monday, as well as so many inspiring and uplifting images on social media for Motivational Monday, I decided to combine the two.  I am so grateful for the teacher community on social media, I have connected with so many kind-hearted and inspiring educators (including Staci who I can now call a friend in real life) so I turned to Instagram to take action.  Inspired by what Greg @kindergartensmorgasboard and Kayla @topdogteaching started with their idea of posting positive things happening in our classrooms with the hashtag #happyclassrooms and posting about being like a "shark" on Mondays, I decided to begin sharing what I was wearing on Monday mornings by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #MondayPositiviTEE.  Why not embrace the opportunity to uplift and inspire teachers & students alike with the combined powers of positivity and social media?  So now on my Instagram, @4SheilaK, not only do I post a picture but I often also try to tie it into a positive psychology topic that is research based.  Included in the post is also a shout out to where the shirt may be purchased – just another way of spreading kindness and showing gratitude by hoping to pay it forward to the businesses making the shirts.

It’s been a great way to start off the school week with positivity.  I'd love to see some of your positive & inspirational t-shirts so be sure to post a picture when you wear one and include the hashtag #MondayPositiviTEE.  Spread some love by tagging where the tee came from too.  I’m thrilled that Staci will be turning this idea into one of her #Kindness180 challenges…let’s go spread kindness!!

No comments