Twilight evenings, professional development, workshops... whatever your school setting calls it. We have your back in 2021.
Primary school teachers across the country and globe are required to complete professional development. This is an excellent thing! Effective professional development builds the knowledge, skills and confidence of teachers to improve the outcomes of their students. You may be able to therefore imagine the sounds of applause from our Grow Your Mind corner when the state we reside in, NSW, announced that 50 of the 100 accredited hours teachers are required to do each year will cover four priority areas. One of which is mental health and wellbeing.
Can you hear us all shouting: BOOM!
We are SUPER passionate about educating staff, the community and primary school students about what mental health is. Our resources are effective, engaging and playful. After all, poor mental health is indeed a serious issue but mental health education does not have to be.
We now have 5 mental health education professional development courses for school staff to partake in, any where in the world! Recorded from our office, aka, our home, with our mascot, aka a really beautiful dog, this will be the most authentic professional development you do all year! These courses are, as the title of this blog states, AWE - SOME! This is largely due to the fact that there is an emphasis on awe throughout the majority of them.
We are so excited to bring to your living room, classroom or staff room, 3 BRAND NEW engaging and research backed emotional wellbeing courses.
1. Implementing Grow Your Mind - introduces school staff to what mental health is and is not using the Grow Your Mind language and philosophy. Central to this workshop is understanding what resilience is, the importance of brain health and why children need a variety of positive mental health invitations. We explore how stories, podcasts and plor-traits (playdough portraits) can engage students of all ages. We unpack numerous positive mental health strategies and provide examples of wellbeing education that can take less than 5 minutes as well as units of work and detailed lesson plans.
2. Using the Grow Your Mind mental health podcast - this workshop walks school staff through the research and motivations behind each of the 14 FREE podcast episodes available to any person, any where in the world. Every episode is an offering to boost mental health, connection and resilience. We dive into the world of joy, gender, hope, gratitude, grief, respectful relationships AND more. Not only will staff members learn how they can use this resource with their students, there will also be opportunities to reflect on how the research and content applies to school staff on a personal level.
3. Engaging Character Strength Education - during this workshop participants will learn 3 key ways to make character strength education inspiring and meaningful for students and themselves. We will be exploring the power of strength spotting, as well as highlighting outstanding literature and sharing our incredibly popular playdough Guess Who series. Participants will see the link between a positive classroom culture, increased resilience AND and character strength education.
These 3 courses are FANTASTIC! However, remember...
mental health education begins with staff wellbeing
Even the greatest student wellbeing program on the planet (clearly that being Grow Your Mind) will suffer without effective staff wellbeing. This is NOT just a Grow Your Mind hypothesis. Research highlights that when teachers burn out or experience high levels of toxic stress there are detrimental effects on student learning such as:
- Less engagement with learning and lower overall performance (Collie, Shapka & Perry, 2012)
- Higher levels of stress (contagion) and therefore increased risk of mental health disorders (Oberle & Schonert Reichl 2016)
- Less trusting student-teacher relationships (Yoon, 2002)
Teachers across the world have taken part in our online and face to face teacher wellbeing courses. Whether that be our:
Mental health education must be a whole of school approach: this means that the school itself recognises that all aspects of the school community can impact positively upon students' health, safety and wellbeing. This ALSO means that staff wellbeing is a priority.
So take your pick from 5 AWE...some professional development courses. We can't wait to see you and your students flourishing.