Letting Happiness Flourish in the Classroom – TKG Values

TKG Focus: Whole Child. If we truly want to cultivate happiness in our homes and schools, we can’t just pay it lip service. We must model behaviors that make us happier, healthier and more productive.



When I look out into my classroom, and take the emotional temperature of my students, I’m usually checking for engagement. I want to make sure they feel supported, are interested in the lesson at hand, and that the lesson is relevant to each student.

But happiness? I stopped looking for happiness long ago. I see it periodically, when the conditions are perfect, and the stars align just so. When happiness strikes in my classroom, I relish it as I would any other rare anomaly, like thundersnowor a two-faced calf. Regular sightings, however, seem too much to hope for given the inhospitable climate in many American classrooms.

Happiness is not something we can afford to lose at home or in our classrooms, as it forms the very foundation of deep, meaningful learning. Happy kids show up at school more able to learn because they tend to sleep better and may have healthier immune systems. Happy kids learn faster and think more creatively. Happy kids tend to be more resilient in the face of failures. Happy kids have stronger relationships and make new friends more easily.

Unfortunately, we put our children’s happiness at risk when we model what Dr. Seppala calls the “myths of success”: the belief that success is inextricably tied to stress and anxiety, perseverance at all costs, avoidance of personal weakness, and a myopic focus on cultivating expertise in a specialized niche…

READ MORE @TheNewYorkTimes

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