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27 July 2018

posted 26 Jul 2018, 21:17 by Carolyn Brett
Welcome to a rollicking Term 3 and I hope that the break treated you all well and that you had ample opportunity to have a more relaxed pace. 

Many years ago now, I read Martin Seligman's book 'Flourish'. This spurred a passion for me which saw me then spending a couple of years studying towards a Certificate in Positive Psychology, which manifests itself in school as 'Positive Education' - the science of wellbeing combined with best practice teaching.

This really has been quite a journey for our staff and many of our parents who are also interested in this work. Then there are our smaller people who I'm sure are benefitting in many ways, shapes and forms.

My topic for the final part of my study was based on the language we use and the ability it has to completely change a conversation. We often use the quote "words create worlds" in our work here. When we are conversing with colleagues and children - what are we focussing on? Where is that language leading? We know that human beings are wired for what went wrong rather than what went right, we know it's easy to ruminate and dwell on mishaps. 

But, it's also easy to reflect on what we are saying and change it up. A simple "What was the best thing about # today?" or a "What did you enjoy most about the #?" rather than a "What did you do today?" or "Was the lesson in # too hard?" can alter an after school conversation and evoke positive emotion...... or not. It's interesting when we reflect on our own language.

In saying this though, we also want our children to experience the whole range of emotions - they need to feel sad, angry, frustrated and all of the others in that list! This is about being human and building coping mechanisms and increased resilience. If we are forever saving them from the full range of emotions/feelings, it's not in their best interests, even though we would like to protect and think it's better for them. 

Martin Seligman has a new book out 'The Hope Circuit'. I came across a couple of sessions with him in the break on the Australian Radio station - ABC - All in the Mind series (scroll down a few!). The First on Positive Psychology in general and the second on Optimism and Hope where he discusses Positive Education. 

If you are interested in our work in this area, I think you will enjoy these sessions. 

At our last Positive Education Whanau Day, the children (with many of our parents helping out) created images of the character strengths for our very own personalised WBS Character Strengths poster. I've had a peek at the freshly produced finished product and it's gorgeous and need to share immediately!



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