Many husbands might say, “When Mama is happy, everyone is happy.” For educators and parents, we would say that when the student is happy and thriving, everyone is happy.
Is happiness really that important? The Harvard Graduate School of Education thinks so. One of their studies showed that student happiness is positively associated with GPA.
OK, so happiness supports academic achievement. How can schools support student happiness? The study’s author, Christina Hinton, suggests, “If schools want to support student well-being and achievement, they should take seriously nurturing positive relationships among teachers and students.” She finds that positive relationships are at the heart of happiness.
At Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa we’d take this recommendation one step further. We find that the relationship with the self is at the heart of happiness. When the students can find happiness from within themselves, regardless of the outer circumstances, they aren’t reliant on external relationships to create their happiness.
The problem is that our kids—like us adults—are incessantly pulled outward in the search for happiness. If we are going to equip students with the ability to nurture themselves from within, we need techniques and time. All of our day and boarding students utilize the twice-daily practice of Transcendental Meditation to unpack stress, lighten the emotional load kids carry, and give them a pipeline to that stable inner self. Once a student taps into their own internal resources to find happiness, they can extend themselves further in their relationship with peers and teachers. Their relationships get deeper and more supportive. It’s a virtuous circle.
What can an educational consultant learn from Harvard? More happiness means higher grades.
And from Maharishi School? Students can produce their own happiness.
All the very best,
Director of Enrollment Management
P.S. Tip of the Week: To create happy students, give them a technique for finding happiness within and watch their relationships improve and their grades go up.