This week brings good news – good news that’s had a three year gestation period. (That’s one and half elephants!)
You see, three years ago I had a dream: that every teacher and every child in every primary school learned that there was ‘more right with them than there is wrong’, by learning and embracing Positive Psychology’s Character Strength model. That’s a big dream. But that’s okay, because I have a propensity for elephant-sized dreams.
At the end of my whirlwind schools tour in 2010, I realised that, short of cloning myself, there was no way I could visit every school to introduce Character Strengths.. How could one little old me tackle something so big? The same way you’d eat an elephant: one bite at a time. In other words, the best way to accomplish something big is to approach it in smaller pieces.
The first bite in fulfilling this dream was to have one of my school visits professionally filmed.
Bite 1: DVD: The Story of a Book.
The next bite was to write a handbook that enabled teachers to identify theirs and their student’s strengths.
Bite 2: Handbook: What’s Right With Me?
The elephant is big and more bites were needed, so I commissioned my nephew, Aiden May, a talented animator and cartoonist, to design illustrations that depicted each of the 24 character strengths.
Bite 3: Character Strengths Caricatures.
Further inspired by my studies in Positive Psychology, I then designed and implemented a pilot (and very successful) eight-week strengths program at Arthurs Creek Primary School.
Bite 4: ‘From Strength to Strength’ – an Eight Week Program for Years 5 and 6
One bite to go. The only thing missing was music, so I dusted off songs from a children’s album I’d released many years ago, joined forces once again with composer, engineer and musician extraordinaire, Chris Mangan, and recorded two additional songs: ‘I Am Me’ and ’24 Rap’.
Bite 5: Enter the album, ‘Sing to Your Strengths’ – 11 songs and two instrumental tracks.
It was a big elephant, but here we are, three years later, with a five disc, multi-media, strengths-education program for years five and six called ‘From Strength To Strength’.
And on Thursday, June 6, 2013, my elephant-sized dream is being officially launched into educational space at the Positive Schools Conference in Melbourne (www.positiveschools.com.au) and re-appearing at the Happiness and Its Causes Conference two weeks later. (www.happinessanditscauses.com.au)
The elephant is no longer in the room: it’s making its way down the Eastern Freeway, one strong and steady foot in front of the other, marching toward Melbourne Convention Centre.
The elephant is happy – very happy to be a metaphor for big dreams.