Building Resilience and Developing Positive School Philosophies

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1 Building Resilience and Developing Positive School Philosophies Positive Schools Conference Fremantle. May, Presented by Megan Booth Hollyhox Positive Resources

2 A word about Hollyhox Positive Resources

3 The Anika Foundation

4 What is happening with our students? The rate of adolescent depression is increasing despite greater awareness, available support and interventions.

5 What s happening with school staff? Australia has some of the lowest employee engagement levels in the world Less than 20% are engaged 60% are not engaged 20% are disengaged & spreading discontent

6 Imagine a school filled with flourishing adult teachers. Those teachers who really connect are those who feel really connected in life. We need to find more ways to support teachers in their well-being. We're worried about exposing our kids to mental illness. We don't yet get that the absence of flourishing is as serious as the presence of mental illness. Kids are exposed to too many adults who just aren't doing well. Dr. Corey Lee M. Keyes

7 Research on Depression The most common type of depression is classified as non-melancholic and can be attributed to life events and life stressors

8 Some people are just going through the motions Not moving forward or getting the most out of life.

9 Others are thriving and seem to bounce back no matter what happens!

10 Where did Positive Psychology come from?

11 While traditional psychology is about exploring what is going wrong with us Positive psychology is about exploring the things that are going right

12 Positive Psychology is Concerned with strengths not just weaknesses. Interested in building the best things in life not just repairing the worst Concerned with making the lives of everyone fulfilling

13 Positive Psychology is the science of optimal functioning All strategies are firmly grounded in empirical research (leans heavily on CBT and Humanistic Psychology).

14 Positive psychology isn t just about being happy

15 It is a framework that helps us to see everyday challenges in new ways and live engaged lives

16 Although happiness may be a bi-product

17 Is it possible to become happier? 50% set point 10% circumstance 40% intentional activities (how you think and what you do)

18 Thinking and behaviour patterns of resilient people Strongly connected to family & friends Comfortable expressing gratitude First to offer a helping hand Optimistic about their future Savour life & live in the present Habitually physically active Deeply committed to life long goals Cope well with challenges & adversities

19 Optimists and Pessimists

20 Optimists setbacks are surmountable and a result of temporary circumstances or other people

21 Pessimists - it is going to last forever, it is going to undermine everything and it s my fault

22 Research has shown that like any other skill we can learn to think more optimistically In the, Penn Optimism Program, participants were taught thinking skills that helped to increase their level of optimism. When the study was over and the research data analysed, it was found that there was a 50% lower risk of developing depression in the group taught optimism increasing thinking skills, and if they did develop depression it was 50% less severe.

23 7 principles of positive psychology

24 Practise acts of kindness

25 Cultivate optimism

26 Live in the present

27 Take care of your body and soul

28 Identify, develop, use and celebrate character strengths

29 Find meaning and purpose in life Mark Tully - Rare Chicken Rescue

30 Practice gratitude

31 Sound familiar?!! This is not new thinking! In fact it is ancient...

32 It is as much a philosophy as a psychology

33 Positive Leadership has the power to transform!

34 The Seattle Fish Markets Play Make their day Be there for each other Choose your attitude

35 Why is positive psychology useful for schools? focuses on wellbeing for all (not just for those who are struggling) fosters resilience and can be protective provides a framework for the teaching & practice of optimistic thinking skills & creative problem solving strategies it is simple, practical & can be weaved into existing school structures

36 Developing a positive school philosophy

37 Structure of a school

38 Conduct a Strengths Audit What are our strengths as a school?

39 How can we weave things together more effectively? Maximise strengths Introduce a common language Map welfare initiatives across the school Encourage fun and celebration

40 Create a positive school plan Staff Students Parents & Community

41 Educate Staff, Students & Parents

42 Make positive psychology a part of everyday school life

43 Positive psychology and school staff

44 Staff self-care and wellbeing

45 Enable staff to identify and build their strengths

46 Help staff to recognise and value each others strengths

47 Nurture and create opportunities for connection

48 Positive psychology and students

49 Develop positive school leaders SRC & Prefects

50 Implement Wellness Programs

51 Introduce strengths based mentoring

52 Bring positive psychology into the classroom

53 Positive psychology and parents

54 Use strengths based language in communication and reporting

55 Provide resources on positive parenting

56 Create opportunities for involvement and connection

57 Positive psychology at Geelong Grammar Parents want Schools to teach more than academic achievement. They also want us to cultivate a love of learning, creativity, resilience, optimism, character strengths, and wellbeing in their children. Centre for Wellbeing Partnership with Martin Seligman & leading experts Intensive teacher training Implicit teaching of positive psychology across the school Explicit teaching of positive psychology in years 7 & 10

58 Positive Psychology at Hornsby Girls High Creating a culture of wellness From Strength to Strength Positive School Proposal Positive School Action Plan (part of 3 year plan) Committee of interested staff Three tiered approach - staff, students, parents & community Evaluation and revisiting of existing programs & school structures Strengths based Senior mentoring New initiatives - Café Gratitude & Kitchen Garden Positive psychology in welfare programs Staff development & training

59 Is Positive Psychology a Fad?

60 To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. Oscar Wilde

61 Thank you! Hollyhox Positive Resources Megan Booth:

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