Be an influencer about our public schools
Your opinions shape the narrative about your public schools. Maybe you’ve read an article, or heard a story, about a student attending a local public school. And maybe you then shared that story with your neighbor. Good news about inspiring teachers and successful students is expected and quickly forgotten, but bad news travels fast and lingers long.
Rick Hanson, psychologist and author, explains that “negative experiences tend to have more urgency and impact than positive ones,” and that human beings are “naturally designed to internalize them.” Our brains have a “negativity bias” to help us survive. “Most positive experiences flow through the brain like water through a sieve, while negative ones are caught every time.”
Undoing negative impressions is possible, but it is neither easy nor quick. To avoid spreading information that creates negative or false impressions, share facts from reliable sources and stories that come from your personal experience.
You can access facts about the CH-UH City School District from the district’s website: www.chuh.org. You can find additional information in the district’s e-mail newsletter and in the notes from the semi-monthly Board of Education meetings. Form your opinions from personal experiences by visiting classrooms, tutoring students, or attending music or sports events.
Your expressed opinions are part of the narrative about our public schools. Once established, negative impressions are not easily changed, even with a huge amount of evidence to the contrary. By gathering your information directly, you can feel assured that the information you share is from a reliable source, and that you are using your influence appropriately.
Krista Hawthorne is executive director of Reaching Heights, and a proud and grateful Heights Tiger.