For the month of November, I offered an Introduction to Mental Fitness course at the Petridish on Stafford Street. The class ran for 1 hour, once a week both Thursday mornings and Monday nights.
The Thursday morning class was a great experience for me. In 3 weeks, I had 6 students. We covered brain health, neurotransmitters, mood research and completed a range of evidence based activities to boost personal wellbeing. My goal was to be a personal trainer or a gym class for the brain. 3 students have all started jobs in the last 3 week effectively destroying my class and, you know what? I'm thrilled. It might be a coincidence or it might be the proof in the pudding about valuing and learning about wellbeing.
The aim of any teacher is to make ourselves redundant eventually and I've done just that!
“Optimal performance is tied to wellbeing, the higher the positive morale, the better the performance.”
Dr Martin Seligman, (former President of the American Psychological Association)
**Monday at 7pm will be the last community class at the Petridish this year.**
A few people asked if I could teach my high school Mental Fitness class to adults.
For the 4 weeks before the "silly season" properly begins, I am teaching a brief introduction to mental fitness and supporting brain health. Classes are drop in. $10 a session. We mix theory, discussion and hands on practical activities that either use a lot of oxygen or a selection of coloured pens.
EVERYONE could use a few more evidence based strategies to boost their welleing and combat the creeping stress at the end of year. Between exams, school holidays and visits with extended family- looking at wellbeing and how the brain works in a positive environment is a great choice. For the cost of a glass of wine, find some stress relief that lasts longer than an hour. And there's no hang over.
See you there?
100 Year 10 students
6 dozen tennis balls
2 mediation apps
and 1 very enthusiastic teacher
Teaching Mental Fitness this year has a been an absolute pleasure and, ultimately, a successful experiment. After nearly a full year of designing, teaching and reflecting on MenFit I am feeling pretty good about.
The AWE data is in. Boys who have completed the course are reporting higher levels of happiness and resilience than other year 10s. I have enjoyed the class, the student and parent feedback is positive but it's the data that matters today. The boys are learning to boost their wellbeing and has lasting effects and as we know:
“Optimal performance is tied to wellbeing, the higher the positive morale, the better the performance”
Flourish, Dr Martin Seligman
(former president of the APA)
So if nothing else, those boys are set up for their exams and hopefully to enjoy their lives more outside of the classroom as well.
Adrienne Buckingham has been teaching teenagers for 15 years, parenting for 8 and is on a quest to do it all better using evidence based strategies.