Life is Good Playmakers are trained to spread the power of optimism to children who need it most. For teacher and Playmaker Casey Ragan, it comes naturally.
Casey grew up with Life is Good all around her. Her mom was a kindergarten teacher who wore Life is Good t-shirts to her classroom almost every day. The steady reminder to stay positive and appreciate life has had a powerful impact on Casey and her entire family. Casey credits Life is Good with helping her family through some of their hardest times, including her mom’s chemo treatments.
Today, Casey is a computer science teacher at Rockwell School in Bethel, Connecticut. She took a cue from her mom, and keeps the good vibes going by wearing her own Life is Good gear to her classroom, and by decking the space out with Life is Good stickers, images, and other positive messages. She even named her son Jake, after the character on the original bestselling Life is Good tee. Casey’s personal connection to the brand has inspired her to foster an optimistic foundation in her two kids and in her students, so they can continue her tradition of staying positive and spreading the good every day.
Just in time for back-to-school season, Casey shared three tips to help other teachers stay on the sunny side:
For me, I’ve always wanted to make a positive difference in kids’ lives and instill a lifelong love of learning. Most people can remember a great teacher who inspired them, and I want to be that teacher for my students. All teachers leave an impact on their students’ lives—make sure the impact you’re leaving is a positive one.
Test scores, paperwork, and meetings can sometimes seem like the most important parts of the job, but they aren’t. The students are. Keep your focus there, and the rest will fall into place.
It’s easy to feel like there’s a race to the finish line, but there isn’t. Teach your students to love the process of learning, to work at things that don’t always come easy to them, to make new friends along the way, and most importantly, to have fun. When we look back on our school days, what do we wish our younger selves knew? What do we remember? Encourage your students to enjoy the ride—it goes by fast!