Elementary School

Morning Meetings with Meaning: The Positivity Project in Kindergarten

By Nicole Badyrka

The Positivity Project (P2) has been a wonderful new addition to my classroom curriculum this school year. Through the use of The Positivity Project, my students have enhanced their social-emotional skills, developing qualities such as teamwork, empathy, and resiliency. The Positivity Project has promoted character development among my students in a classroom environment.

Since The Positivity Project was adapted at my school, I began teaching the lessons during my morning meeting. This is the time of day when we meet as a classroom community to greet each other, talk about current events, and build relationships. We emphasized character strengths while setting a positive tone for the day.

At the beginning of each week, I start with a short discussion on the new character strength. Each day after that, I incorporate the activities outlined in The Positivity Project lessons. As kindergarten teachers, we focus a lot on helping students learn to self-regulate and manage their emotions, along with laying the foundations for relationship skills; The Positivity Project guides us as a class and school on how to achieve this effectively.

I feel empowered that this is the first experience students will have with The Positivity Project. I have an important job to make it a positive one that they will take with them into the coming years at school.

I also have the luxury of seeing the impact on my 4th-grade son, who also attends Turrill Elementary. I hear him tell stories of conversations about the character strengths that my kindergarten students are also learning about. It’s a beautiful thing to have a common language around a common goal across all grade levels.

Nicole Badyrka
Kindergarten Teacher, Turrill Elementary

I'm Nicole Badyrka, and this is my 14th year teaching at Turrill. While here, I have always taught early fives or kindergarten. I am married and have three children. My oldest son is 13, my middle son is 10, and my daughter will be turning 2 in September. In my free time, I love to travel to any place warmer than Michigan. I love teaching and am passionate about helping all students reach their learning potential.