A school in Birmingham is the first in the UK to appoint a happiness teacher. The aim of this role is to boost the happiness of the children to ensure that their schooldays are as positive as possible.
The school first considered this role after the tragic loss of a parent. It began working with an emotional resilience coach, and after seeing great success decided to incorporate this into the curriculum.
Headteacher of the school Mel Gee said: "The big thing now is ensuring you are meeting the mental health and wellbeing needs of your pupils. We’d been thinking about doing something about building resilience and emotional intelligence, too. Then we had a tragedy. Sadly, the mum of four of one of our children passed away due to cancer. It meant that now, as well as doing something for the children, we wanted to look at a completely different scenario of counselling for bereavement and loss at the same time."
Techniques used in happiness classes include singing and dancing, mindfulness and breathing exercises, and promoting gratitude, not only with others but with oneself.
The school has reported positive results, with students who tend to suffer from anxiety even using the exercises at home. Moving forward, the class will start to educate children further by looking at the different sides of the brain, and discussing how the left side tends to avoid change and the right is more open to doing new things.
Posted by Alan Douglas