Workshop By: Gordon Neufeld. PhD.
What is flourishing? According to Dr. Neufeld flourishing is all that we can be. ‘Flourishing’ cannot be taught though because it is natural and emotion. In the dictionary flourish is defines as, “to grow well or luxuriantly; to thrive; to grow and develop in a healthy way”.
For our students to flourish they need to show potential. Children need to be able to handle adversity and adapt to change. Children need to be able to function separately and independently. Children need to do togetherness’ and separateness’ simultaneously, and as teachers, we need to remember that diplomacy means nothing without integrity.
In order for children to flourish they need to be adaptive, emergent, and integrative. This means learning from mistakes, taking a sense of agency, responsibility, and curiosity. Children need to learn from dissonance. What needs to happen at home? Children need to have a sense of rest and relief from work and attachment. The children need the ability to FEEL tender emotion. Children need sufficient freedom and space for true PLAY.
What can we do in school?
Build a sense of attachment.
Reverse Shyness: Children are shy around those they don’t trust or know which creates a barrier.
Counterwill: All of us have an instinct if someone tells us something. With children, we need to collect trust before interaction of those who are not attached to us.
Cultivating Connections: When we collect trust we can bridge connections and matchmake with the children.