One of my highlights of the last few weeks has been to get back into the classroom. For the last five years I’ve had the privilege to teach Positive Education to pupils in Year 5 at Dixie Grammar Junior School. I was amazed at how much I’d missed this when the last academic year was so suddenly cut short and I was looking forward to returning, with fingers very much crossed that the school year would begin as planned.
I wondered what it would be like, introducing them to positive education in such extraordinary circumstances. I wondered what they would be like, having gone through such an unprecedented disruption to their lives both in and outside school.
The topic chosen especially for the first session was dealing with difficult feelings and the children were wonderful. They were honest, insightful and articulate in describing feelings of sorrow, worry or anger, and then brave and trusting as they worked through the exercises in how to understand and deal with their feelings successfully.
It would have been easy just to dive into gratitude or happiness practices without visiting these more uncomfortable emotions, but I believe we do our children a huge disservice if we do not acknowledge the emotional challenges they face, and then give them strategies to meet those challenges in a healthy way.
The exercises I used with the children are explained here https://youtu.be/5XKPjxayKDA and the results were amazing. The children were able to describe the physical sensations of a variety of difficult feelings and using the techniques I taught them observed how these feelings were not as solid and overwhelming as they feared. Instead they discovered how such emotions ebbed and flowed before gently subsiding or even disappearing, if only for a while.
They have already learned a valuable life skill, and I cannot wait to take the rest of their journey with them this year.