Arjan Vergeer, whose children attend the Green School in Bali, has seen first-hand three simple ways in which this educational approach makes his children happy. In a post on LinkedIn, the Dutch founder of 365 Days of Success, among others, shares his personal experience.
In this post (which has over 6k reactions), he talks about the Green School and why his children enjoy going to school every day.
Friends instead of Classmates
The GreenSchool in Bali is a school that focuses on the personal development and well-being of children. Vergeer describes in his post that one of the reasons why children at this school are so happy has to do with the way teachers speak about students. Teachers do not speak of classmates or students, but of “friends”. This creates a positive and friendly atmosphere where children see each other as equals and cooperate more.
Movement instead of sitting still
Another reason why children at this school enjoy going to school every day is because each block of lessons takes place in a different location. This provides short moments of intense movement and discharge, helping the children to concentrate better during class. The children also have regular “green studies”, where they investigate the nature around them. This not only encourages curiosity and discovery of the world around them, but also ensures a healthy relationship with nature.
Personal letter instead of grades
But perhaps what is most special about this school is that children do not get grades. Instead, twice a year they receive a personal letter from their teacher celebrating everything that makes them fun, sweet and special. This ensures a positive approach to learning, where children feel valued for who they are and not just their achievements.
The approach of the GreenSchool in Bali is unique and inspiring, and it is great to see that this approach is applicable not only in Bali, but basically anywhere. Let us hope that more schools adopt this approach so that children can enjoy going to school every day wherever they live. We think a great example from the Netherlands is the happiness lessons Merijn has taught in primary schools. Watch the video and link to Merijn’s teaching materials here.
Punishment replaced by meditation in primary school
The Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore has a different approach when students disrupt class - they offer meditation, mindfulness and yoga classes - and there is science behind it.