Optimism isn’t necessary when you are making important changes within your school. You are making great things into a reality:
I’m not sure I see this message as optimism. It is building people up rather than tearing them down. It is filling them with growth rather than fixing them to a single place. But, to me, this isn’t optimism. Optimism is a belief in what might happen. It is a belief in what could happen. What you are doing, is about what WILL happen.
So long as you don’t make or perpetuate the systems that boil behavior down to a tally sheet, you are making concrete change. So long as you are building understanding with a child, you are making a shift to shared ownership of learning.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely optimistic about the future of kids who are supported in this way. But, what you are doing is more than optimistic. It is realistically pushing the bounds of what is possible with the “tough kids”. Keep going.