We loved speaking to the inspirational Andy Cope for episode 100. Andy trained as a teacher but quickly went into adult education. Then he realised he was ‘doing it wrong’. He discovered a subject called positive psychology which he describes as ‘the science of happiness and wellbeing’. He began a PhD in the science of happiness and has spent 10 years seeking out happy people and following them around for his research.
The Art of Being Brilliant
From this basis, Andy developed a series of business and school courses called The Art of Being Brilliant in 2005. Originally it was only meant for businesses but 5 years ago he realised that teachers needed to feel better as well so he developed products for them. Then 3 years ago he expanded the ideas to parents and children as well.
Andy’s ’embedded model’ is used in schools. The programme is delivered to the children who then develop their own happiness programme and deliver it themselves to the adults. The work has spread across the world and also been used across cities in England. Usually it is delivered to a cluster of schools. The children come up with a plan after some support and Andy’s team come back after 4 months to see how they are getting on.
How do you make teachers who are happy in their negative mindset happier?
Andy believes you can’t change other people but you can influence them. He believes if you can be the happy person who comes into the staffroom with a smile upon your face, then you can be ‘your best version of you’ then you there’s a chance others will catch it as well.
Andy (somewhat controversially) believes that the teachers are the most important people in a school because if they are not happy, then the children don’t stand a chance of catching it and being happy themselves.
There is a ‘ripple effect’ of happiness. It leaks out of you and reaches three degrees of people removed from you.
It’s a business statistic and is probably much bigger in schools but if you are upbeat and happy, everyone you meet in a day is going to be 16% happier as a result. This then transmits through those people 10% to the people they meet. Then it transmits another 6% to the people they meet. This ties in beautifully with Pivotal’s obsession with meet and greet at the door.
Andy mentions research which proves that when you are in a good mood your brain literally switches on and you see possibilities and become more creative.
How can teachers bring brilliance into their classrooms?…
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