THE beginning of January is the moment at which we are meant to think about what could be better and make resolutions for the year ahead.

However, being a “glass-half-full” kind of person and a little fatigued by what feels like a lot of negative news stories at the moment, I thought it would be interesting to consider what we are generally doing well as a society for young people.

So, these are some of my reasons to be cheerful based on what I’ve observed over 25 years as a teacher:

1 Teaching is better now than it ever has been. Teachers work harder to understand what makes their pupils tick and what exactly enables them to learn most effectively; teaching techniques are more creative and inventive; and learning is in general more interactive and thought provoking.

2 People listen to children more and take their views seriously.

3 It is widely recognised now that there are many types of intelligence and many gifts.

4 More effort is made to reward children who do their very best, are kind, and contribute positively.

5 There is much more awareness of life beyond school and careers education has vastly improved: information about apprenticeships, the world of work and vocational routes is significantly better.

6 Failure is not seen as a barrier to ultimate success but one of the key steps along the way.

7 Pastoral care is widely recognised as being absolutely central to young people’s happiness and ability to learn.

8 Young people are more likely to be given leadership opportunities, responsibilities and the freedom to prove themselves.

9 The approach to education is a much more holistic one and families are encouraged to be involved in children’s learning.

10 We are kinder, more tolerant and more encouraging of young people than ever before, while expecting more from them at the same time. In my view, to have high expectations of someone is to have faith in their potential and to treat them well is to nurture the roots from which the next generation can thrive and grow.