Positivity playing a role in DCHS classrooms

Senior Hannah Farmer hands a Friendly Friday poster to junior Eli Alvarado. This is the first year that Friendly Friday has been around.

Madisen Paulson

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Having a positive outlook on things is very important in life. Positivity can help bring joy to people and may encourage others to do the same.

English and journalism teacher Samantha Ladwig and art teacher Tessa Vrbicky have decided to bring that positivity to life inside of their classrooms at David City High School.  

This is Ladwig’s third year teaching here at DCHS, and when she first started, she carried over what she was already doing at the previous school she taught at, and that was Motivation Mondays and Funny Video Fridays.

“Because of the passing of a teacher in the building I student taught in, I was hired in the middle of the school year, and this heartbreaking event opened my eyes to teaching more than just the curriculum,” Ladwig said. “All too often we as people in general need something to remind us that we can do bigger, better things and that we have the ability to get through whatever life throws at us. Because of those reasons, I came up with Motivation Monday to help students stay focused throughout the week and Funny Video Friday as comic relief for making it to the end of the week.”

Motivation Monday is an easy way for Ladwig to encourage her students and get them prepared for the week. She typically shares a video or story with each of her classes, but she also does a sticky note project. For this, students write a positive quote or inspirational message to be placed on any locker in the school. Additionally, Funny Video Friday is used to get students laughing; starting the class out with a good laugh makes it more enjoyable.

“When the teachers have a positive attitude, it makes me want to stay motivated so that when I leave the classroom, I keep that positive attitude,” senior McKenna Murphy said.

Since then, Ladwig has also began a “Positivity Jar.” If a student is being negative in class, they have to take a note out and read it to the other students. They then must replace the note by writing a new inspirational message. The goal of this is to challenge students to be less negative throughout the day by spreading a simple positive message.

“In the past year I have noticed negativity consuming everyone, and not just in my classroom,” Ladwig said. “I wanted to do something to minimize this, even if it was only for the 46 minutes a day that I see my students. So, I created the Positivity Jar.”

On the other hand, this is Vrbicky’s first year teaching at DCHS. She started out her first year here with “Hunt the Good Stuff.” HTGS is a way for students to start the beginning of class with a positive attitude and have an optimistic outlook on the last 24 hours.

“I feel as if I start the day out positive, then my students will be more positive,” Vrbicky said. “It is like a balance; you enjoy what you are doing and also the process that goes along with it.”

Toward the beginning of the school year when an assembly for “Rachel’s Challenge” took place, Vrbicky and her access students decided they wanted to incorporate the positivity into the school more. With that being said, “Friendly Friday” was created. This is a way for those students in Vrbicky’s access to spread positive letters, posters, or compliments to any student in the building.

“Friendly Friday originally started because of Rachel’s Challenge,” Vrbicky said. “My access students, and even myself, wanted to promote friendliness by something simple like writing letters or making posters to those they wanted to give it to that week.”

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Positivity playing a role in DCHS classrooms