It's Not Rocket Science -Happy Children Learn Better
Wednesday 15th May 2019
Teaching well-being isn't a soft option. It's not something that should be done if there's some spare time, it's important, it's a fundamental part of children's learning - and it can markedly improve test scores, too.
There has been much research into well-being and its importance, so much so that I believe we can no longer ignore it or just pay lip service to it.
Spending valuable lesson time teaching well-being skills when there is a curriculum plan to get through by the end of the week, tests to prepare for, exams looming can sometimes be seen as a frivolous luxury but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Martin Seligman, a leading American psychologist who is widely recognised as the godfather of positive psychology argues that, "We can both teach the traditional goals of education — literacy, numeracy, science — and we can increase students' wellbeing. When you do that, they're synergistic, not antagonistic,"
Teaching well-being enhances learning in the rest of the curriculum.
Many schools, since the removal of the statutory requirement to teach PHSE,(fortunately about to return from 2020) no longer teach children emotional wellbeing. They aren't taught about their emotions and how to manage them, they often lack understanding of how to make friends, the importance of kindness, gratitude, compassion and empathy etc., essential life skills. This gap in learning is a failure to prepare them for the world that we live in.
Mental health issues are sadly increasing. We read grim statistics about the number of children affected by different mental health issues, stress, anxiety and sadly suicide. None of these figures are declining, they are all rising.
Teaching children about their well-being is essential so that they have the opportunity to grow into caring, compassionate, well balanced, happy individuals. They need tools and strategies to navigate the increasingly frantic world that they are growing up in.
We all want the best for our children - parents/ carers and teachers. So let's ask ourselves this question......
What can we do to develop our children's well-being this week?
If you are a teacher what are you going to do this week to develop the well-being of the children that you work with?