Well, another year another class. I had a lovely, long, luxurious summer of relaxation but here I sit after the first week of having the children back in school.
I decided not to do too much travelling this summer (although India always whispers my name, encouraging me to return) and I spent time reading and catching up with my studies. I really love to think about how I can share what I'm learning with people on a wider scale, I ask myself how I can best put my masters so far to good use. One particular day, my Character Strengths cards were born.
I loved the Values In Actions strengths. You can take a survey to find out your top character strengths and how to deepen others at www.viacharacter.org. The organisation is a non-profit institute where founder Dr. Neal Mayerson, the father of positive psychology Dr Martin Seligman and leading researcher Dr. Chris Peterson worked together to write Character Strengths and Virtues which was hailed the 'backbone of positive psychology'. Next, the survey was created; a gift to the world to help you 'know your 24' strengths, building on them to lead happier, flourishing lives.
In order to contribute my bit, share the word and help younger school children access this important construct of the well-being ecology I'm trying to develop in my school, I created the cards. Sitting in my mum and dad's living room in a sunny Glasgow (yes, actually sunny!) with the windows open, the TV on, a chattering mum with her cup of tea and biscuits a plenty, I had a lovely time selecting images from my camera roll and fondly thought of previous children I've taught, wondering if they could access each activity as I wrote them.
After returning to Dubai and having a small amount printed to trial them, I'm so excited to begin seeing the cards in classrooms and hearing children start to use strengths language. I can't wait to hear the feedback, share ideas with colleagues and watch the resources grow over time.
Something else beautiful happened. Someone else loved the cards and in the near future, their love and kindness will enable me to share the cards with even more people in many schools. I will be posting lesson ideas here on the mindful teaching website for you to use in classrooms based on the cards. It's safe to say this kindness brought my strengths of gratitude and love to the forefront of my mind.
Please visit the VIA website and find out your strengths. Begin a path to flourishing by growing your strengths each day.