Teaching Happiness – A Student Review

When I enrolled for this course and read the title “Teaching Happiness: Positive Psychology for Behaviour & Learning”, I actually did not know what positive psychology was. It is a whole entire practice, not an idea, founded on the belief that great things can happen when we focus our attention on identifying what our strengths are. We can then build upon these strengths and use these strengths to develop self-confidence, resilience, hopefulness, optimism, and all those other wonderful and powerful attributes that we as humans truly need in order to navigate hardships that we will come across in our lives.

Something that really resonated with me when positive psychology was compared to traditional psychology.  While traditional psychology asks, ‘what is wrong with us?’, positive psychology asks, ‘what is right with us?’. It reminded me of a tweet I saw years ago that always stuck with me – it was of an artist posting his most sold print.  On the print was a little girl looking sad and distant, and a thought bubble above her head asked, ‘imagine if it doesn’t work out?’. Right beside her was another version of herself, a happier looking one, and that version of herself was thinking ‘imagine if it does!’. I thought this was powerful and I found a connection with this to positive psychology. From what I have gathered from this course, we do have the power to rewire our brains and our minds to think more positively and to be more innately hopeful.  We can tackle our anxiety and worries by taking the spotlight off them and giving more airtime to hope, resilience, belief in oneself etc.

Something I really value about this course and which in my opinion is such a huge learning point is that I need to be a model of what this course embodies.  Helping students to access their own level of happiness and giving them the tools needed to do this cannot be done unless the educator has been through this process themselves. I think it was so effective how the course consistently reminded me that the best learning occurs through modelling. The course highlighted the importance of educators also engaging in positive psychology in their daily lives in order to even begin to achieve this in anyone else.

This course is a well-planned and cohesive collection of modules which include well written and researched pieces of text, videos, online resources, readings and opportunities for reflection. The main points of the course, in my opinion, are to have participants come to a deep understanding of what positive psychology is, to have them recognise its importance and its impact, and to then equip participants with the tools and techniques needed to apply positive psychology to their classrooms, schools, and lives.

I was shocked to learn that 46% of Irish teachers leave the job early because they have gotten to a point where they have lost their buzz and their sparkle because they have not looked after themselves. I have only been teaching for three years and I can see how burnout could easily happen. This course has made me realise that the condition of the educator is so crucial to and will always leak into the condition of the classroom that they exist in.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. It is the first upskilling course I have done since I started teaching. I am going to be enrolling in more courses for the summer and I cannot wait to see what they bring.

Thank you to everyone involved in the making of this brilliant course. I even learned a lot from the Covid course as it helped me to understand how I could help my students to process what their experience of lockdown had been, how their lockdown was different to their peers and how to give them a safe place to explore and discuss a very difficult period of time. Thank you!

We are grateful to Ellen McCloskey for this lovely feedback.  If you’re interested in this course, we have two upcoming terms, 10th May to 20th June or 1st July to 26th August.  Find out more here.

Teaching Happiness

Positive Psychology for Learning and Wellbeing

This online CPD course examines how happiness and wellbeing can be enhanced through the application of positive psychology in your own life and those of others. This course is delivered fully online allowing you the flexibility to learn from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.

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