Science of Happiness and Its Impact on School Culture
For the past 20 years, I’ve studied and researched the topics of Happiness and Positive Psychology, which is the study of happiness and how we learn to thrive in both our personal and professional lives.
The Happiness Pie Chart breaks down the three factors that influence our happiness:
- A whopping 50% of happiness is genetic—which seems to run counter to the idea we have the ability within us to actually make ourselves happier! And it’s a valid concern when you think of some of the people and personalities we encounter in our daily lives.
- 10% of happiness is based on individual circumstances: your job and its challenges; how much money you make—or don’t make; your material possessions, like cars, homes, shoes, etc.
- Here’s the really fascinating section of the pie chart: the remaining 40% is up for grabs. This means that 40% of our happiness—be it personal or professional—is changeable. WE can create happiness! There are many activities and behaviors we can adopt to make this happen.
Happiness researcher, author, and speaker Shawn Achor explains it best: “Happiness is not about being blind to the negatives in our environment; it’s about believing we have the power to do something about them.” In other words, it’s not necessarily reality that shapes you, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.
Mr. Achor also says, “What the science of happiness has found is that if we can change that lens, not only can we increase personal happiness, we can also affect positive change in education and business outcomes.” This is exactly what I feel called to do for educators.
So, how does this transfer to the classroom? Educational guru Robert Marzano says, “The single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within the school.” I wholeheartedly believe this. We know which classrooms students are excited to step into each day—and which ones they’re not. The Science of Happiness can help transform your classroom into one where students love to learn and are able to thrive.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Two characteristics students are looking for in a teacher
- The Happiness Research
- Training the brain to be positive
- Relationships with students and with co-workers
- Creating more joy in your profession
- Taking our power back