My Wellbeing My Classroom

 

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PERMA Framework translated in to practical classroom activities

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Contents. How to use this resource What is positive psychology and wellbeing? Practical strategies for you and your classroom Positive emotions Engagement Relationships Meaning Achievement Sustaining your wellbeing 2 3 5 6 11 20 24 28 32

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How to use this resource. This resource is designed for you. Having a classroom that is flourishing in wellbeing is an enjoyable classroom. Wellbeing encompasses many elements and this resource is designed to be engaged in, and used on a continual basis for improving your wellbeing. The activities can be tried and applied at different stages of the day, or times in your life, both personally and in your classroom. This resource has also been designed to be used with students. Activities we have presented under each section of Martin Seligman’s Well–Being Theory (PERMA) are aimed at all ages; however, activities may be adapted for younger students according to their needs. Each section explains one element of wellbeing and provides activities and templates to practice the element. If using this resource in a classroom setting, templates can be copied or downloaded from https://teachers.reachoutpro.com.au and printed for each student. These activities can be applied in all classrooms, regardless of the subject content. Icons. Worksheet (Can be filled in) Background Information Australian curriculum. If using this resource with students, the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities (assists students to become lifelong learners able to live and work successfully in the diverse world of the twenty–first century) provide meaningful connections to the importance of wellbeing (Personal and Social Capability). The practical strategies in this resource can be added to your current teaching materials to allow students to work towards achieving this capability. General Capabilities. Person and Social Cabability This capability assists students learn to understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively. The Personal and Social Capability learning continuum is organised into four interrelated elements: › › › › Self–awareness Self–management Social awareness Social management Activities in this resource can assist in the development of this element. For more information: http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/general_capabilities.html 2

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What is positive psychology? Positive psychology is a relatively new aspect of psychology founded by Professor Martin Seligman in 1998 that seeks to scientifically understand positive emotions such as joy and optimism. Positive psychology focuses on the elements that allow individuals, groups and organisations to flourish. What is wellbeing? Wellbeing refers to a persons’ state of happiness and health. It is important to have good wellbeing sustained so you can live a longer, happier and healthier life. Just as exercise and good diet can reduce our risk of illness, investing in our wellness can reduce our risk of developing a mental illness. Mental Health is one of the toughest challenges we face in today’s world. 1 in 2 people will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. 3

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Happiness score. Experts in positive psychology have come up with a scale to help identify people’s levels of wellbeing. Below is an example to help you identify how you may feel day to day. Whether your score is on the lower end or higher end of the scale the information in this resource will help you and / or your students to improve and sustain your wellbeing. Without thinking too much about it, what score would you give yourself right now? 10. Extremely happy (feeling ecstatic, joyous, fantastic) 9. Very happy (feeling really good, elated) 8. Pretty happy (spirits high, feeling good) 7. Mildly happy (feeling fairly good and somewhat cheerful) 6. Slightly happy (just a bit above neutral) 5. Neutral (not particularly happy or unhappy) 4. Slightly unhappy (just a bit below neutral) 3. Mildly unhappy (just a bit low) 2. Pretty unhappy (somewhat ‘blue’, spirits down) 1. Very unhappy (depressed, spirits very low) 0. Extremely unhappy (utterly depressed, completely down) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4

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Practical strategies for you & your classroom. P E R M A (Martin Seligman). Five essential elements to wellbeing E P Positive emotions Engagement Positive character strengths R Relationships Other people building social capacity Meaning Core motivations, purpose, meaning Achievement Strive to achieve goal attainment A M 5

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Positive emotions. This element examines how people optimally experience, predict, and savour the positive feelings and emotions that are part of normal and healthy living and human functioning (e.g. peace, gratitude, inspiration, hope, curiosity etc). 6 Wellbeing@School

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Practical strategies for positive emotions. from it and move on with a positive attitude. Three good things – track the good stuff. Research suggests that the very act of reflecting on some of the good things that happen to us actually contributes to our wellbeing. By doing this we start to notice what goes right as well as wrong in our lives, changing our focus to the positive not the negative. Even on a bad day there are some good things that happen, however small. It is important that we accept it, learn Tracking your good stuff. Use our template on the next page to track the good things. This template can also be printed out / copied and shared with your students. Sharing your good stuff with the school. Set up a whiteboard in the staffroom for “three good things today” Encourage staff to write up their three things from each day. In your classroom, create a section on your whiteboard for “three good things” where students can contribute their good things from your lesson. Encourage this to become part of your lesson content. Like an online version? Why not try an Answer Garden (www.answergarden.ch) Answer Garden is a minimalistic feedback tool which allows live contributions. The tool can be used as an online brainstorm or can be embedded on a website. Acts of kindness are contagious! What goes around comes around. Research shows that being kind to others increases our own levels of wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others. Below are a few examples of acts of kindness. › › › › › › › › › › › › Volunteer to take a colleagues yard / playground duty Have a shared lunch once a week with your faculty where everyone brings a plate Stay back and help a new staff member feel welcome Team teach with a colleague needing support Give a compliment Hold a door open for someone Make someone laugh Take time to really listen to someone Tell someone if you notice they’re doing a good job Get back in contact with someone you’ve lost touch with Volunteer your time for a charity Show your appreciation 7

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Tracking the good stuff: three good things. › › › › At the end of the day – Write three good things that happened – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. Why did they happen? / Why did it feel good? For each thing that happened, note a reason. Look back – after a week, have a look back on what you’ve written. How does it feel when you look at all these good things? Are there any themes? Keep it up – You may find that you don’t need to do it every day, but a few times a week. Week 1 Monday Three things 1 2 3 Tuesday Three things 1 2 3 Wednesday Three things 1 2 3 Thursday Three things 1 2 3 Friday Three things 1 2 3 Saturday Three things 1 2 3 Sunday Three things 1 2 3 Weekly reflection. How does it feel? Do you notice any themes? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? 8

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Tracking the good stuff: three good things. › › › At the end of the day – Write three good things that happened – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. Why did they happen? / Why did it feel good? For each thing that happened, note a reason. Look back – after a week, have a look back on what you’ve written. How does it feel when you look at all these good things? Are there any themes? › Keep it up – try keeping it up for 2 weeks. After a while you may find that you don’t need to do it every day and practice this a few times a week. Week 2 Monday Three things 1 2 3 Tuesday Three things 1 2 3 Wednesday Three things 1 2 3 Thursday Three things 1 2 3 Friday Three things 1 2 3 Saturday Three things 1 2 3 Sunday Three things 1 2 3 Weekly reflection. How does it feel? Do you notice any themes? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? Why did they happen / Why did it feel good? 9

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My ideas. My classroom: positive emotions. Use this template to record your ideas on how to work on the element of positive emotions in your classroom. Idea Why did it work? How will I share this with colleagues? Ask students to think of one positive thing that has happened today and share it with the person next to them. Students were able to share something good. These made the majority smile and relax. The lesson started positively. Write it up on the staffroom board. Ask a colleague to do the same at the end of their day. 10

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Engagement. Engagement is achieved by becoming absorbed and immersed in your work, love, friendship and social life. The key to increasing engagement is to identify your strengths and develop a plan for implementing them into your life. Character strengths form a large part of engagement. Finding and applying our character strengths enables us to feel great satisfaction and appreciation of ourselves, others and the world. It helps us to think more clearly, openly and increases our motivation and passion for life. 11 Wellbeing@School

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Practical strategies for engagement. Character strengths. Identifying and nurturing our character strengths 1. Use the Character Strengths framework (diagram below) to work with your strengths to assist you to sustain / improve your wellbeing. Share how you are working on these with a colleague, someone who can also support you to develop your character strengths and to support your wellbeing at school. 2. Definitions of each character strength and a hint / tip to increasing them is provided on the following pages. 3. The website www.authentichappiness.org has varied surveys you can complete to assess aspects of your wellbeing, including character strengths. Aware Explore each character strength and understand their definition, their impact and influence on our lives and sense of self. Connect your strengths to past and present experiences, using your understanding to uncover patterns of behaviours. Explore Apply An exciting, yet challenging step. Action phase. This is where you move from reflecting and thinking to doing. 12

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Applying the character strengths. Definition of each character and an example of how to apply it. Wisdom & knowledge. Cognitive strengths of the acquisition & use of knowledge Curiosity Definition Interests, novelty seeking, open to experience. Finding topics fascinating, taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake Idea Each week choose a mini subject and learn and explore and find out as much as you can about it. Ask questions, ask colleagues, friends Become an expert in something that interests you. Read, have discussions and visit websites Love of learning Mastering new skills, topics and knowledge, informally or formally Open Mindedness Thinking things through and examining them from all sides, not jumping to conclusions, weighing all evidence up Read a newspaper that differs in its political beliefs to yours. Think about how some of their opinions may be valid, or why they hold that opinion Creativity Thinking of novel and productive ways to do things. Not limited to artistic achievement Perspective Being able to provide wise advice to others, having ways of looking at the world that makes sense Take the time to brainstorm as many possibilities when solving a problem. Keep record of these brainstorms – pen / paper or electronic Stay open to others points of view. Store this learning to share with others and solve problems as they arise Transcendance. Forging connections and providing meaning Appreciate beauty & excellence Definition Awe, wonder: Noticing and appreciating nature, art, maths, science, everyday experiences etc. “Stop and smell the Idea roses” Take time out of your school day to listen to sounds, and focus on the good things. Record the good things in a journal Keep a gratitude Journal – Use a small notebook or create a word doc on your computer. Record what you are thankful for every week Gratitude Humour Spirituality Hope Being aware of and thankful for the good things, taking time to express thanks Playfulness, liking to laugh, bring smiles, seeing the light side, making, not necessarily telling jokes Share a joke with a colleague. Write a “funny quote of the day” on the staffroom board or share a funny picture with colleagues Having beliefs about life Having hope is being optimistic in the future. Expecting the best in the future, working to achieve it Discover your own belief system – not necessarily religious beliefs. Write down the things you really believe in and discover more about these Create a set of short and long term goals. How will you achieve these? What do you need? Write them in a location you can see often 13

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Temperance. Positive traits that protect from arrogance, hatred etc Self regulation Definition Controlling what you feel and do Prudence Taking care in your decision making, not taking unnecessary risks Humility & Modesty Letting your accomplishments speak for themselves Forgiveness Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance, not being vengeful Idea When making changes, make them small, take it easy and limit the changes to one at a time. Think of your long term goals, and how the short term gains all impact on your long term goals. Keep the big picture front of mind Do something helpful for someone else without letting anyone know. Eg Get a colleagues’ resources organised for them for their lesson Try not to focus too much on a negative thing someone has done to you. Try to think of a potential solution to get you moving to forgiving them Courage. Exercising the will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition Bravery Definition Speaking up for what is right, acting on convictions even if unpopular Idea Thinking about your goals, discover what may be in the way of you achieving them and tackle these – one at a time Persistance Finishing what you start, in spite of obstacles, taking pleasure in completing tasks Create a MUST DO list. List all things you haven’t finished, keep the things you still want to do, cross out the others and work through them one by one Honesty Displaying integrity. Speaking the truth, presenting yourself in a sincere way Be honest in your opinions. Express what you feel, try not to agree ‘to keep the peace’. People value honesty Zest Enthusiasm, approaching life with excitement and energy Start your lesson with three positive thoughts. How will you share your enthusiasm for your subject matter in your classroom? What is great about your subject? 14

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Justice. Social strengths, the optimal interaction between individuals and community Team Work Definition Working as a member of a group, being loyal to the group and doing your share Volunteer in your schools garden, give your staffroom a makeover, help out at an after hours school event you normally wouldn’t attend Leadership Encouraging a group to get things done at the same time, maintain good relations within the group Organise a small feel good event for your faculty / staff – eg “Mid term luncheon” Ask for help – but remember you are the organiser! Fairness Treating all people the same, not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others, giving everyone a fair chance Speak up if you see an injustice or observe discriminatory behaviour. Be an “upstander” Idea Humanity. Positive strengths in relationships with others Kindness Definition Nurturance, care, compassion, niceness. Doing favours, deeds for others, helping and taking care of them Idea Pick up a colleagues printing, offer to pack up their equipment from their lesson, make a colleague lunch or a coffee / tea Love Capacitiy to love and be loved. in particular where sharing and caring is returned Compliment people you love often, let them know how you feel. Love is not just about your partner, it’s your friends, family and people around you Social Intelligence Being aware of other peoples makes other people tick Take the time to really listen to people’s ideas. Valuing close relations with others, ideas and feelings, knowing what 15

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