Hunting the Good Stuff

Mr Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School

Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.  

American novelist Ralph Waldo Ellison provided the discussion thread for the last two weeks of pastoral care lessons for both Years 9 and 0.  Our theme of “Hunting the Good Stuff” this term has centred on both social and emotional intelligence and the importance of good relationships with each other, based upon mutual respect.  We have pushed heavily the ideal that positive relationships are the cornerstone of increased personal growth and fulfilment.  

Professor Martin Seligman’s PERMA model provided insightful discussion around the important role that positive relationships play in our daily lives.  Seligman’s acronym states that Positive emotions come from being Engaged in daily tasks which then leads to the establishment of positive Relationships.  These relationships then instil Meaning and purpose to the tasks being tackled.  Once we find meaning in what we are doing, we Achieve and this results in us feeling good about ourselves.   

At the College, our focus is a little different.  By rearranging PERMA to REMAP, our focus shifts but results in improved positive outcomes.  We believe that the establishment of positive Relationships provides our learners with Engagement in what they are doing.  Once engaged in their tasks, our learners find Meaning and purpose in everything they do, which leads them to try their best and Achieve.  Through their achievements, they experience Positive emotions and feel accomplishment and satisfaction.   

Another discussion topic has focused on Positive Psychology again examining the works of Martin Seligman and Daniel Goleman.  The students have all undertaken a survey through the VIA Institute on Character to gain a deeper understanding of their character strengths, and importantly, identify areas where they aren’t as strong.  Tutor staff also undertook the survey and shared their results, much to the delight of their tutees.  I would ask parents and carers of students in Years 9&10 to discuss their child’s results with them.  Our Term focus on positive relationships and positive psychology will continue to provide opportunities to share both as a lager group and in respective tutor groups.  We will continue to “Hunt the Good Stuff” throughout the term.