Cultivating Well-being through children

One school in India implements the Greater Good Science Centre's research based practises in order to ensure well-being. This is explored in What A Greater Good School Looks Like by Vicki Zakrzewski at Indian students often find it difficult to cope with academic pressure, parental expectations as well as social and economic obstacles. Consequently, in India, teachers are aiming to lessen the impact of these struggles through practises of gratitude, self-compassion and mindfulness.

A School Psychologist Anam Zaidi led a team that developed these projects took photos and wrote up descriptions of these activities:

A Safe Place Just For Students

An outdoor space into a place where they could express their emotions and take care of their well-being. Senior students spent seven days engaging in creative activities with the assistance of younger students:

  • Painting fence posts, rocks and old tires
  • Creating signs with inspiring quotes
  • Planting flowers and saplings
  • Bridged the gap between social classes

The Garden Of Kindness

When a student participates in an act of kindness, they plant a seed in the garden of kindness. Anam said "now they're looking for a reason to be kind so they can plant a tree. It motivates them to be kind, but it also helps them feel good about themselves".

The Let It Go Pond

Students write something that they would like to let go on a pebble and drop it into a pond where it go into the pond where it disappears. Anam believes "each emotion has in itself to change oneself. The pond is a symbolic way to help students realise that the power to improve lies within."

The Tree Of Silence

Students are given a place for introspection and meditation, away from the many conflicts one can face. Anam agrees students are able to "reflect upon their actions by observing a moment of silence. I've also sen kids just come and sit there".

The Tree of Self Forgiveness

Students fill out a piece of paper in the shape of a leaf that reads 'I forgive myself for…' and hang it on a tree. Due to the way Indian society views forgiveness, self-forgivness is more important than the forgiveness of others. Through the "concept of learning to forgive yourself first, one might forgive others in a more compassionate way." This allows students to accept themselves and boost their self-confidence.

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