I am filled with positive emotion today and I wanted to share with you why….
Last June I wrote a story that has led to the most fulfilling work I have ever done. Over the past year I have written more uplifting stories for children and even more than that – I have written workshops that teach children to be their own authentic selves. To think in a way that benefits their future and how to use simple techniques to support themselves now and throughout their lives.
Not only have I had the amazing opportunity to support primary and secondary school children, I feel that I have grown myself. I have realised through following my passion for writing and teaching that I have learnt so much about myself. I have witnessed children having their own light bulb moments where they can now understand that their future is in their own hands. I have taught children that their self worth is not just based on a grade; it is about embracing their whole self. I have guided them through self reflection to find out about the truly wonderful, unique and amazing human beings that they are and that they have limitless potential.
Working with Madeley Academy over the last few months has been one of the highlights of this year. As a trained primary school teacher this was a little out of my comfort zone. I really believe that when we start to push ourselves out of our comfort zone that is when real growth happens! I had the privilege of working with a class of Year 7 students and their teacher Lyndsay Timmins.
I taught all of my 7 well-being workshops to the students. It was wonderful to be a part of the sessions as students embraced the practices and showed real enthusiasm to get involved in group or independent activities.
As the weeks went by, I noticed how I had built up a strong connection with the students. It was wonderful to watch them grow in confidence and support them in finding out about who they are.
One of my favourite sessions…..
I led a guided meditation with the students where they had the opportunity to visualise themselves in the future. They had time to record anything they saw, felt or thought about during this session. I was impressed with the students, as not one of them had ever taken part in a meditation practice before. They embraced the session and I could really feel the energy in the room was so relaxed and peaceful. After the session I talked individually to the students and they described how they had enjoyed the meditation and it had given them time to be still and relax. What was wonderful was there was no right or wrong way to do the meditation. It was all about what the students wanted to take from it. Some students saw visions of their future, some had thoughts about what they wanted to do or places they wanted to visit. Some students simply were still and just listened. Students were given time to reflect on their dream future and planned steps to take to reach their dream goals.
The final session was tying all of the practices together. Students were given time to choose which practices worked for them. Each student now had a record of the daily practical tools that they can use to support their well-being! I talked to the students individually about what was important to them and what they had taken from the experience.
Finally I asked for some feedback, which was incredible!
At the start of the workshops I had given students a questionnaire that measures their self-esteem using – The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The students then completed the questionnaire after all 7 sessions.
Results from The Rosenberg Scale
From 24 students
91% of students have grown in self-esteem.
From Student Questionnaires
From 26 students
88% of students said they have grown in self-esteem because of the workshops.
73% of students said that they have grown in confidence because of the workshops.
Students said they enjoyed the self-esteem and meditation practices the most.
Students said the self-esteem and power of the mind workshop had the most impact on them.
Students said that self-esteem – continuing to find out about themselves, was the practice they would most like to continue.
Quotes from the students
“The workshops made me feel myself – kind of me again and made me feel happy and how I’ve never really felt!”
“The workshops have helped my self-esteem and power of the mind.”
“Now I know how to think about myself in a positive way and not so negative way all the time.”
“The workshops have helped me with my self-esteem because now I feel a bit more confident talking to other people.”
“I think these workshops have helped me because it’s taught me that I need to believe in myself and I will be doing some more fitness.”
“The workshops have helped me by boosting my self-esteem.”
“The workshops helped me by feeling good about myself.”
“They have helped me grow in confidence.”
It was such a privilege to work with the Year 7 staff and students at Madeley Academy. I want to thank them for their support with my stories and workshops.
I interviewed Lyndsay Timmins, Life Skills Co-ordinator and Teacher at the school and she agreed that the sessions had been brilliant and that they had boosted students self-worth and confidence! You can watch the interview here by clicking the link:
So, I wanted to share this today to spread my important message to children and young adults. “We can reach our dreams if we can just change the way we think!” If you know a school that would like me to support their well-being practices then please get in touch to book sessions for September 2019 onwards!
With my very best wishes,