Fairness

The Character Strength “Fairness” belongs to the category of Justice. Fairness means giving everyone a fair go and treating others as you would like to be treated. As a teacher, fairness is about giving everyone the opportunity to succeed and going out of your way to ensure that this is happening. For children, fairness is about being empathetic and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It is also about being considerate, honest and respectful of others.

This is our house  by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Bob Graham is about a boy called George who will not let girls, small people, people with glasses etc play in his cardboard house. The tables are turned and George finds out that it’s more fun to share and include others.

        

Fairness is one of the most rewarding character strengths to teach students because it is a strength that is all around them. They see it in others and practice it themselves in the playground each day.

Tell us about any incidents of Fairness that you witnessed today. 

This website has some tips for parents:   http://www.yessafechoices.org/parents/character-education-corner/fairness

 

 

Self-Belief

Self-belief is about having an inner confidence that enables people to understand their purpose in life. It also helps us to realise that our beliefs shape our actions.

Self belief is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem is similar to self-confidence and refers to the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities and affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives.

The VIA Character Strength that we take Self-Belief from is Spirituality – a tricky concept for children to understand. “If Spirituality is your top strength you have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you”.  http://www.viacharacter.org/www/character-strengths/spirituality

Two picture story books that I use to demonstrate self belief (spirituality) to children  are Matt Ottley’s Miss Millie’s Painting and Mem Fox’s Possum Magic. 

 

        

Gratitude with Toni Powell

On Monday night, I attended a presentation by author, Tony Powell. She was introduced as a person whose wisdom, honesty and rawness gave her an ability to connect with people. What an accurate description this was!

Tony talked about how to reduce the elephants (the things that come in and trample on your happy life) in our lives. She described how dealing with anxiety and fear can be done by talking yourself, or your child, through what they are afraid of so that they understand that their fear is unlikely to happen. Toni gave the example of monsters under the bed.

She talked about the importance of finding activities that take you into “the zone,” such as surfing, walking and dancing, to calm yourself. Toni explained that if you are worried about something, the situation doesn’t have to change but you can change your thinking to help yourself.

Toni spoke about gratitude and how it can change your life. According to Toni, gratitude can be used in any situation and is the best bet for a happier life. We are the architects of our own brains and our thoughts and emotions effect our brain structure (or neural pathways). If you are constantly putting your mind to stress or anger, you will create default patterns in your mind. However, if you use mental discipline to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis you are, in effect, training your brain and improving your life in a profound way.

So, yesterday in our staff meeting, the importance of gratitude was spoken of. When I asked my students, at the end of the day, today, what the best thing about their day was, many said that writing down a list of things that they were grateful for was. And they said this with a big, happy smile!

   

 

Toni with her book; “The Yellow Car.”

http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/lettherebelight/default.htm

http://www.happyandwell.com.au/words-toni-powell-5-reasons-gratitude-drug

Friendship – Emotional Literacy

Emotional Literacy is the ability to understand and express feelings. It involves having self-awareness and recognition of one’s own feelings and knowing how to manage them. Emotional Literacy is also about recognising and understanding the emotions of others so that you can figure out what they are feeling. Empathy (noticing what other people are feeling) is strongly linked to emotional literacy. According to research, emotional literacy is associated with children who are smarter, nicer, happier and more resilient.

Teaching students emotional literacy such as how to recognise their feelings and how to deal with them are essential skills for their success in life. Research has shown that emotional intelligence or EQ “predicts over 54% of the variation in success (relationships, effectiveness, health, quality of life).” Additional data concludes that “young people with high EQ earn higher grades, stay in school, and make healthier choices.”

We teach Emotional Literacy within the Friendship character strength because students with high emotional intelligence are going to make the best type of friends.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/…/why-we-need-teach-kids-emotional-intelligence