How to foster hope in tough times

By Jim Knight
February 2021
At the beginning of every new year, I create a playlist for my friends filled with music that brings me joy. I call it my happy list. This year, as I chose my songs, I realized that a theme was emerging: new beginnings. As Nina Simone sings, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good” (Bricusse & Newley, 1965). This year’s playlist gives voice to my deep desire to turn the corner on the tough times we’ve all experienced this past year. I know I’m not alone in wanting a new beginning. For many, 2020 was the hardest year of their lives. In times like this, we can feel tempted to give up whatever fight

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Bricusse, L. & Newley, A. (1965). Feeling good. I Put a Spell on You [Recorded by N. Simone]. On I Put a Spell on You.

Campbell, J. & Van Nieuwerburgh, C. (2018). The leader’s guide to coaching in schools: Creating conditions for effective learning. Corwin Press.

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Lopez, S. (2013). Making hope happen: Create the future you want for yourself and others. Atria.

Miller, W.R. & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. The Guilford Press.

Snyder, C.R. (1994). The psychology of hope: You can get there from here. The Free Press.

Senior Partner at Instructional Coaching Group | + posts

Jim Knight, senior partner of Instructional Coaching Group, is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than two decades studying instructional coaching, writing several books on the topic.  Knight’s articles on instructional coaching have been included in publications such as the Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, and Teachers Teaching Teachers. Knight directs several research projects, including Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, district-wide school reform project in the Topeka, Kansas, School District. Knight also leads the Intensive Instructional Coaching Institutes and the Teaching Learning Coaching annual conference. Knight has presented and consulted in more than 40 states, most Canadian provinces, and around the world. He has also won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards.

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