What a pleasure it has been to be right back amongst our children over this last week. I have the luxury of coming in and out of class spaces, talking with children, finding out what excites them, what interests them..... One of the things I love the most is to walk into a space and see children working independently on projects - using the strengths of each other to create something new that maybe sparks even more interest..... and then they improve.... and they are proud and then they want to do more.... and then it gets better still!
The Broaden and Build Theory (Barbara Frederickson) is one of a number of key pieces of scientific research we call on in our Positive Education/Wellbeing programme. Put briefly, Positive Emotions drive our minds to broaden our scope of attention allowing us to become more agile, open and accepting. These emotions then generate an upward spiral of broadening and building that enhances wellbeing and ultimately human flourishing. In nutshell, the more you generate, the more you generate! This could be in terms of developing relationships, taking calculated risks.... all sorts.
When I walked through Māhutonga Matariki last Friday, the wind was screaming wildly outside. The children ... were not! Here was a group so intent on adding to their Inspiration books, trying out new styles of art, working collaboratively or alone.... proud of what they were achieving, wanting to share their work, seeking feedback...... building Positive Emotion all the way.
It's times like these we need to notice. We are often so intent on the 'thing' that's not working so well and ignore the 20 things that are. That's how we are wired right - for the negative. One of my goals is always to notice and celebrate the small steps as well with the staff - I'm so focussed on the 'big stuff'. They will sometimes say to me "Broaden and Build, Jude!" I'm going to try my hardest, promise! I don't want to be left behind on this one - I want to have every opportunity to flourish too!
Appreciate the good and the good appreciates!
For those interested to learn more about Barbara Frederickson's work, follow the link.