The #1 thing I learned from the 2017 PESA (Positive Education Schools Association) conference was…

Before we get to that, the conference featured a number of insightful keynotes and breakout sessions (Growing With Gratitude included).








My favourite keynote speakers were from:

  • Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP: Leading Positive Psychology expert Caroline Adams Miller, is a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal setting, grit and happiness. Caroline is the author of ve books, including Creating Your Best Life.
    KEYNOTE: Getting Grit: How To Embed Passion, Persistence & Awe In Your School
  • Michelle McQuaid, MAPP: Michelle teaches leaders in businesses and schools to leverage their strengths, ex their mindsets, improve their relationships and build their resilience. She also designs and implements lasting change strategies using Appreciative Inquiry
    KEYNOTE: Creating Positive Education Strategies That Stick

  • Professor Lea Waters, PhD: Professor Lea Waters (PhD) is a psychologist, researcher, speaker and author who specialises in Positive Parenting, Positive Organisations and Positive Education. Listed as one of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Financial Review and Westpac Bank (2015), Professor Waters has been a researcher at the University of Melbourne for 20 years, and is the first Australian to be appointed as a Professor in Positive Psychology.
    KEYNOTE: Searching For Wellbeing In Schools: Linking Science With Practice

The #1 Thing I Learned From the 2017 PESA

Come 4.45pm, following the PESA conference formalities a common theme developed across Friday and Saturday. The theme was: to experience long lasting happiness we need to practice. We need to practice to be happy, it’s a skill.

Reflect back to when you tried something for the very first time.

Whether that be learning a new skill for a sport or an instrument.

Were you anywhere near perfect right from the start?

No, I doubt it. But…

Have you improved since you first started?

The 2nd time you practiced, did make a slight improvement? The 3rd and 4th and so on, did you gradually improve?

To develop skills, it is no secret that we need to practice.

Happiness is no different. We need to practice on a regular basis to be happy. It is a skill that needs to be worked on.

So, how do we practice happiness?

Do you go to a happiness boot camp and spend hours learning how to practice?

At school, do you as the teacher need to spend hours and hours a week providing the opportunity to practice:

  • Gratitude
  • Kindness
  • Reflecting of the positives
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Grit

The answer is no. You don’t have to spend hours and hours a day.

In our ongoing study with the University of South Australia, we have also discovered the importance of practice. Here are 3 further secrets when cultivating happiness:

Time Allocation: You must allocate time across the day to practice happiness. Just 2-10 minutes per day.
Consistency: You must allow time for students and yourself to practice on a consistent basis. If not daily, at least 3-4 school days per week.
Fun & Engaging: Our studies have revealed students find some of the well known activities that help cultivate happiness boring. For example: writing 3 things you are grateful everyday. In one particular study 100% of children said they found that activity boring. So that piece of information informed us the cultivation activities need to be fun and engaging, so it sticks and becomes part of who the child is.

For further information you are welcome to register for our free teacher training: 5 STEPS TO CHANGE THE CULTURE OF YOUR SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM STARTING TODAY

If you want to change the culture of your school and classroom you must practice. It won’t happen over night, just like mastering a sporting or instrumental skill. But, daily practice overtime will lead to mastery of happiness within you, your students and children.

We also are running a free teacher training called: Actionable Activities You Can Implement To Change The Culture Of Your School And Classroom Starting Today

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