“Great teachers have always understood that their job is not to teach the subject but to teach students.”
A guestblog by Anna Hildebrandt Mrozek from Poland
I know enthusiasts in the field of education who, despite the pandemic, are positively “turned on”, minded, and find meaning. In this way, they cultivate their potential and the potential of their students. They are not surprised by the words: “happiness at school – it is possible”, but they say: “finally we say what we mean, we act!”
I believe that you are also one of these enthusiasts. You don’t want to “function somehow.” Survive. In this pandemic. Tighten. But you want to flourish. Find meaning, passion, and pleasure in life.
We invite you to celebrate Happiness Week at School on September 21-27. For the first time in Poland, but I trust not for the last time.
The idea stems from the idea of celebrating the International Week of Happiness at Work. Activities within Happiness at School have already been officially included in the international celebrations 🙂 If you can work at work, then even more at school! Because happy children grow up to be happy adults
This week you can plan multiple activities, or one for each day or several. It is important to raise the issue of happiness in various dimensions – emotions, sense of meaning, commitment, closeness with others, discovering your strengths and positives in others, health, rest or commitment. It is about taking up the topic of happiness at this time, which, according to Martin Seligman, manifests itself in:
- experiencing positive emotions – different, because it is both joy, pride, gratitude, delight,
- discovering your strengths, talents, potential,
- experiencing the meaning of life – what am I doing here? what is the purpose of my work, study and life? what am I living for
In one of the schools in the Lower Silesian voivodeship, “Living Pictures” (#tableuvivant) will be created this week . This is a very interesting initiative, invented during the pandemic – examples here allow for a creative approach to classic paintings. We choose any image and create our own interpretation – individually, in groups, in classes. This can be done by children, parents, teachers or mixed groups together. Lots of props can be used, ranging from toilet paper, fruit, LEGO blocks. Every idea counts. Every interpretation is important! Then for weeks you can use this activity to discuss issues of art, beauty, history, geography, nature, Polish, foreign languages, psychology, etc.
Here are examples of other activities, but your creativity goes beyond the limits – my ideas, timeframes, buildings, templates. Sit down with the children, involve other adults, and think together about what you can do. Let it be yours – school, class, team. May it bring joy and commitment to many.
- Feast of Kindness – a kind word, a letter addressed, for example, to people who do not expect it.
- Feast of Gratitude – expressing gratitude to colleagues.
- The Day of Nice Surprises – may refer to the time spent together
- Festival of Laughter – about laughter, with a laugh, with a grain of salt
- Good Humor Festival – jokes, jokes, jokes, old and new, through the prism of generations
- Good News Day – catching and sharing good news
- Good Taste Celebration – the art of savoring your favorite flavors
- The Art of Celebration – celebrating the good moments of the day; the art of enjoying pictures, sounds, etc.
- Friend’s Day – my friend and what I appreciate him for …
- Day of My Dreams – visualization of dreams
By the way, you can focus on each of the slogans and make them issues worth devoting more attention to, and discussing them at later classes:
- What is kindness? How do you feel when you show kindness? How do you feel when you receive kindness?
- How does gratitude affect empathy?
- What do you experience when you give someone a nice surprise?
- Why is laughing good for health?
- How does celebration affect attention span?
Experiencing positive emotions is important because it is good for our life and health. And it is not about negating difficult emotions or downplaying them. It is about balancing them, and even about the advantage of experiencing positive emotions over unpleasant ones.
Because sometimes they save our lives.