Honesty is not just about telling the truth, it’s about living your life in a genuine and authentic way. It’s about being down to earth and without pretense. Being honest also means being ethical and acting with integrity.
I treat everyone equally. I give everyone a fair chance.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
How to behave in a fair way:
Tell the truth.
Play by the rules.
Think about how your actions will affect others.
Listen to people with an open mind.
Don’t blame others for your mistakes.
Don’t take advantage of other people.
Don’t play favourites.
I really enjoyed watching this animation about treating every equally.
Helping students to learn a range of positive coping skills will allow them to develop and practise
these skills and enable them to cope with future changes and challenges.
Positive self-talk is a key strategy for coping with negative thoughts, emotions, and events. Resilience research shows that use of positive self-talk is associated with greater persistence in the face of challenge, whereas negative self-talk is associated with higher levels of distress, depression and anxiety. Positive self-talk can be learnt or strengthened through practise.
“The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires is a great example of a person using positive self talk to persist in the face of challenge. Have a look at this stop motion animation put together by Elmwood School in Ottawa (Canada).
Friendship means being a good friend to others and understanding that your friends have thoughts and feelings.
Within the VIA Character Strengths this is listed as “Social Intelligence” and falls under the category of humanity; strengths that manifest in caring relationship with others. Social awareness is about what we sense about others and what we do with our awareness.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a heartwarming book that encourages positive behaviour by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show us how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by “filling buckets.”
There are many books that emphasise the concept of friendship. Which one is your favourite?
At Barwon Heads PS we value Mindfulness, so much so that one of the major components of our Pos Ed model is Mindfulness. Today we spoke to our staff about the benefits of mindfulness. We began with a short meditation. We then shared the results of an analysis of 15 studies which measured the impact of meditation in schools. (Waters et al 2015).
Students who are taught meditation at school reported higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and take better care of their health as well as experiencing reduced anxiety, stress and depression. This is compared to before the meditation programs and compared to peers who were not taught meditation.
The review also showed that meditation helps the social life of students by leading to increases in pro-social behaviour (like helping others) and decreases in anti-social behaviour (like anger and disobedience).
Finally, meditation was found to improve a host of academic and learning skills in students. These included faster information processing, greater focus, more effective working memory, more creativity and cognitive flexibility.
This short film shows how practicing Mindfulness impacts on the brain.
We use websites and apps such as Class Dojo, Go Noodle and Smiling Minds in the classroom and personally, we use Buddify, Insight Timer and Headspace to name a few. YouTube also has a multitude of meditations.
Courage means being brave and doing what you think is right, even if you feel scared.
People who are courageous do not shrink away from threat, challenge, difficulty or pain. They speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. They are positive bystanders and act on their convictions.
There are three types of courage (an individual may possess one of these or a combination):
Love of learning is used to describe people who have an insatiable appetite to learn. It describes the way in which a person engages new information and skills. Love of learning is a strength that we teachers would like to see in their students. It has important motivational consequences because it helps people persist through challenges, setbacks and constructive feedback.
The main character in The Boy Who Loved Words by Ronni Schotter loves learning new words.
Do you have a subject (or two) that you love learning about at every opportunity?
I have been privileged to have attended the PESA (Positive Education Schools Association) conference over the last two days. I’ve also felt a sense of gratitude that Barwon Heads PS has generously supported my attendance. This shows the extent to which Positive Education is valued at our school.
Next week will be the first week of Term 2 and the character strength that we will be focussing on is gratitude. Gratitude is a value that has been emphasised at PESA. Kerry Howells talked about appreciation as the most effective state to be in to learn (ie to have strong cognitive functioning). Ahn Do spoke about his family’s attitude of gratitude to overcome adversity and Paddy Dangerfield spoke of the power of a team player acknowledging the impact that playing alongside him had on their game.
Practicing gratitude can reduce stress and leads to higher levels of hope and optimism. Being more grateful can also lead to increased levels of well-being (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000) and is also a powerful tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships. People who express their gratitude tend to be more willing to forgive others and less narcissistic (DeShea, 2003; Farwell & Wohlwend-Lloyd, 1998).
There are all sorts of ways to practice gratitude throughout your day. Thinking of three good things that happened during your day is a simple intervention that can flip your emotions and boost your wellbeing.