Students experience and express a range of emotions every day. Focusing on positive emotions is one way you can help them build the skills they need in order to focus in the classroom and deal with life’s ups and downs.
‘Positive emotions’ doesn’t just mean feeling happy all the time. A range of other emotions can also increase focus and success and, over time, improve student wellbeing. These emotions include:
Every student will display these emotions differently, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Being mindful of the different types of positive emotions is the first step in encouraging them among students in your classroom.
Research shows that focusing on positive emotions has a range of benefits, including:
By encouraging positive emotions among your students, you will assist them to be more focused and achieve better learning outcomes. Most importantly, they will also build their resilience, which will have a positive impact on their overall wellbeing.
There are lots of different ways to bring positive emotions into focus in the classroom. The following are a few suggested activities you could use.
1. Identify positive emotions
Because everyone is different, the first step is to ask your students to stop and think about the things that make them feel positive:
2. Take notice
Your students might already be experiencing and demonstrating a range of positive emotions, but unless we all take notice, it can be hard to identify them. Here are some suggestions for things you can do:
3. Ask: ‘What went well?’
Dedicate some time in your class’s routine to reflecting on things that went well. This could be whole-class or individual reflection. Some ideas for doing this include: