Before writing this article,I asked the few people around me : What is their idea of happiness? What does happiness mean to them?
So let's check it out what are their responses?
My aunt said "Happiness is waking up to a fresh new day."
My father said "Happiness is being grateful for everything good in your life."
My son said "Happiness is just being with my buddies."
One of my friends said "Happiness is Recharging."
Others said "Happiness is following your heart."
For a Nature Lover happiness can be watching the rain.
For an employee, Happiness is being appreciated.
For a person like me, Happiness is ME time. Just doing what you love like right now I'm happy because I love writing articles and I am lucky that I got oppurtinity to share my content via writing blogs.
So in the above responses, you have seen that each one of us has a different perception of happiness. Happiness is actually a feeling of contentment.Happiness comes to you when your needs are satisfied and fulfilled.
To understand happiness better,Let's have a look at psychologist Maslow's hierarchy of needs also known as The pyramid of Happiness.
His motivational theory consists of a five-tier model of human needs.
- Starting from the bottom first are Physiological needs.
- When Physiological needs are fulfilled, then comes the next level i.e., Safety needs.
- Then Love and Belongingness needs
- After that Self-Esteem needs
- And the last is Self-Actualization.
So , according to his theory if a person is able to meet his self-actulization needs then only he attains ultimate happy.
Now why I am talking about Maslow's theory here is that we as educators and parents have to see that children's basic physiological needs like food,water and shelter.
Their safety needs for love and belongingness are atleast fulfilled at school and at home also so that children can attain self-esteem or self-worth.
So lets see how can we do it. So let's see the two ways in which we can create Happy classrooms.
- By making desirable changes in the physical environment of the classroom
You can make certain desirable changes in the physical environment of the classroom that are pleasing to the eye and heart like murals or graffiti on the walls or maybe just colorful walls, colorful curtains especially for Pre-Primary and Primary children.Curtains with animal print are hot favourites with these young children.
Changing the seating arrangement from rows to circular to semi-circular or triangular at times help the students to interact more and create happy spaces.
Putting up interesting and inspiring storyboards and bulletin boards in the classroom definitely makes the classroom more attractive.Let the children help you out in making these bulletin boards so that they have the feel that it's their classroom.
Green plants are soothing and pleasing to the eyes.So plants can be put up in the classroom anywhere at the back or in the corners and children should be given the responsibility to take care of these plants.
- Emotional Environment
Now comes the most important aspect of a happy classroom where the teacher plays a key or primary role in creating happy spaces for our students.
Greet every child indivisually with a smile whether inside the classroom or outside theclassroom so that the child knows that he is noticed and he is wanted.He is liked by the teacher and he is special.
It is said that a good teacher doesn't teach from the books she teaches from her heart.
It form a very strong bond and connect a teacher with her students so that one is approachable and you are always available to them whenever they need you . We all are humans so it's possible that something happened at your workplace or at your home which is making you unhappy. So try not to tranfer these negative feelings to the students.Have a control on your emotions.
Students will listen to you carefully if you listen to them first. Let them express their emotions and feelings. Let them say whatever they want to say and be a part of their ideas and plans by showing interest.
A happy love is infectious and it makes everyone around you feel very happy
So use humor as a tool or a stratergy while teaching or talking to your students to make a lively and happy place. Everyone has a need for appreciation and appreciation leads to more motivation. So as a teacher and educator always make it a habit to appreciate the good work in the presence of everyone . Children are senstitive little human beings so show all the respect towards them.Do not compare or label them on the basis of their ability, skills, achievement or cultural differences.
Apart from teaching, take out time for positive talks and in zero periods narrate them stories or incidents about great men,Successful people or may be ordinary people who dared to dream and could make it big.Teach them values like empathy ,forgiveness ,gratitude ,patience and so on.
So these were some of the ways to create a happy classroom as parents and teachers. I know you all are very creative. So if you come across more ways you can always type in the comment section below.