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Optimism is the level of hope about the future and one's capabilities to live an enjoyable life.
According to Eric Jensen, the level of hope and optimism a student has is more important that IQ!

In Building a Culture of Hope, the Seed of Optimism is described in Chapter 4. 
Optimism is the way to combat Learned Helplessness and Hopelessness.
Optimism is the antidote to learned helplessness.
Optimism mitigates an external locus of control, and gives individuals power. 

Observations in high-performing, high-poverty schools reveal seven basic strategies for increasing Optimism in students and staff:
  1. Create a welcoming environment to school and classroom.
  2. Foster an atmosphere of respect and safety
  3. Emphasize success
  4. Hold community-wide celebrations
  5. Emphasize the positive and what is going well
  6. Hold high expectations for all learners
  7. Coordinate community services within the school/district (see Dryfoos's Full Service Schools or Comer's Community Schools)

Resources from Building a Culture of Hope are listed below as PDFs. 

Discussion Topics for book study. 
Staff/Team Questionnaire sample.
Student Questionnaire sample.
Emily Gibson,
Jan 5, 2015, 2:06 PM
Emily Gibson,
Jan 5, 2015, 2:06 PM
Emily Gibson,
Jan 5, 2015, 2:06 PM