It’s as easy as spending 30 minutes everyday with Kindergarteners.
I know. I talk about it all the time. Perhaps I need a back story to help explain my obsession.
Let’s go back 20 years ago.
I’m going to go ahead and picture myself without the turquoise glasses and patriotic polka dots . Instead, I’ll imagine myself in western wear . . .
There we go much better. Texan in training.
Now 20 years ago, all I could ever dream of was become a Kindergarten teacher. I practiced daily with my friends on the playground, my stuffed animals at home, my brother on the weekends. I was a teacher in training. How happy my mom must have been being a teacher, turned, counselor, turned, assistant principal at the time.
All of this was well and good until I was asked (by someone I’d like to never remember), “Why do you think you could be a Kindergarten teacher if you can’t even get along with your 5 year old brother?”
WHAT?!? Was this really happening? I mean I guess she had a good point. So, my 8 year old heart was crushed, but being a resilient child, my 8 year old brain made a new plan. First, I’d be a gymnastic teacher, or a painter, or a dog walker. Hmmm . . . I guess good thing that person – whom we won’t name – mentioned that I’d be a terrible Kindergarten teacher because now my options were endless.
Needless to say, those words stuck with me for 10 whole years. So, when applying to college and declaring my major I knew exactly what I wouldn’t major in – TEACHING! So off to pre-med I went.
Until 2 weeks into Biology class came. I hated every last second of it. I called my mom crying, I called my dad crying, and my poor, poor roommate Shanon (a teaching major) the tears she witnessed! All of them said the same thing, “You’ve wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher since you were 8 years old! Go change your major.” WHAT?!? You mean evil lady- whose name won’t be mentioned- was wrong? I could be a teacher?
Anyways, to make the next long story short I (obviously) became a teacher, loved every minute of it, but regretfully never taught Kindergarten (which is now one of my biggest regrets). A BIG sorry to these poor Kindergarten teachers at my school for having me in their classroom every day, and a BIG thank you to them for sharing their kiddos with me!
So anyways, my complete happiness is these Kindergartners (and Ocean).
Why not spread the happiness?
Happiness with Emotional Eugene
Topics Covered: Communication Skills, Respect, Responsibility, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Self-Confidence Development
“Today, Emotional Eugene is in a great mood. When you ask him how he feels he will tell you he is happy. When you ask him why, he will tell you that he played with his dog all morning and his puppy gave him a BIG kiss when he left.”
This Happiness lesson helps the Kindergarteners recognize what things in our life make us happy. But even better than that, this lesson goes one bit further to help the boys recognize what we can say to ourselves to make ourselves happy.
“Sometimes, Emotional Eugene says things to himself that makes him feel good. Like, I am a good soccer player, or I am smart.”
The boys went around the circle sharing things they would say to themselves to make themselves happy.
“Thinking good thoughts about yourself will make you feel good.”
Then, we did the Rainbow of Happiness activity.
The boys recognized that the different sections of the rainbow showed us the 7 different things that make us happy. We colored each one as we named something that would make us feel good. The boys realized that a rainbow stood for happiness as the clouds passed and the sun came out. They noticed that all of Eugene’s friends under the rainbow were also happy.
We ended the lesson by looking again at K.T. Cocktail’s Caring Me. We talked about how showing someone you care makes them feel good and helps you to spread your happiness.