Making schools happier places

In order to make a school a happier place for the children, parents and staff who use them, every member of school staff could contribute one small thing every day. This can contribute to changing the atmosphere and ethos of the school and is achievable by everyone showing a commitment. The quality of the relationships between children, parents and staff can change by smiling as you walk around the school. I work in several different schools during the week and certainly do not know the names of all the children and parents, but I smile at them as I walk around the school. I acknowledge children if they hold open a door for me, (which they do frequently) by saying ‘Thanks for holding the door open for me, that’s very kind of you, or that’s thoughtful of you.’ This enables the child to know that I not only appreciate them holding the door, but I also experience them as being kind or thoughtful. How often do we see children showing us kind, caring, thoughtful behaviour in school but choose not to acknowledge it or are too busy to do so? Let’s commit to changing this and providing children with positive feelings about who they are and what they do as often as we can during each school day. If we believe in children, we enable them to believe in themselves.

Every child has the right to be happy, settled and achieving their full potential in school, is this true for every child in your school? If not, is there anything you can do to make a difference?

Reflect: Stop for a minute

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I want to work in a school?
  • What did I want to achieve?
  • Have I achieved this?

What can I do tomorrow to make the school a happier place for the children?

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