The Happiness Inquiry

A teacher's quest to cultivate happy habits in her students

(What it’s All) About

I work with middle schoolers and I love it. They are blunt, curious and can drive me crazy one minute and crack me up the next. They’re at that pivotal age where they are developing real interests and hobbies that may eventually become careers. They are figuring out where they want to go to high school, who they want to associate with, how they want to be seen, and generally making more choices than ever before.  Yes, they are still kids. But at the same time, they are a mere several years from adulthood, and are forming habits of thought that may follow them into their next phase of life.

At school, we spend a lot of time what it takes to be successful, and set goals relating to achieving more personal success. I’ve been thinking that it might be worth trying a new approach, where we set goals for becoming more happy with the assumption that greater happiness improves productivity which influences success. After all, it is a lot harder to develop the habits of a successful person: studiousness, focus, independence, and drive, when there lacks a deeper sense of well being. It’s not something we usually talk about in the classroom, but I’m eager to experiment.

I also think adolescence is the perfect time to start talking explicitly about choices, especially the small, daily ones one makes. I’m inclined to think that they all matter: walking to school versus sitting on a bus, participating in after school curricular activities versus going straight home, trying something new rather than sticking with the familiar. I believe it’s these little things we do or don’t do every day that can make all the difference, both now and as we grow up.

Fund for Teachers is supporting my month-long travels throughout Denmark, happiest country on earth, to explore the connection between lifestyle choices and well being. I hope to inspire my students back home during my visit, and upon return, have a rich conversation about positive choices and positive consequences.

6 thoughts on “(What it’s All) About

  1. Looking forward to keeping up with your travels, blogging, and overall happiness! Just knowing you are doing this makes me very HAPPY! Buen Viaje Amiga!!

  2. You are such an inspiration not only to your students but other teachers as well… I will be so happy to follow you through your travels:)

    • Thanks so much, Tumara! I will start post daily as soon as I arrive with lots of pictures and video clips that I hope the kiddos will enjoy. 🙂

  3. I’m delighted that you are embarking on this adventure, Kat! I’ve subscribed to “The Happiness Inquiry” and look forward to sharing your experience vicariously! Happiness is what we all seek, but we seldom receive guidance on how to get there! My guess is that you’ve already seen this, but just in case (US results): http://www.happycounts.org/grossnationalhappinessindex/

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