SELF-ESTEEM, FOCUS & RESPECT
SAFE in SCHOOLS considers Self-esteem, Focus and Respect as being three interdependent elements that build up every student's daily motivation.
Self-esteem and Focus (or concentration) come up a lot in the daily discussions about students in the teachers room. They are often mentioned on the web sites of school boards and of the Ministry of Education as important elements for an efficient learning environment.
The term Respect (or a synonym, like Tolerance, Inclusivity, Cooperation, etc.) is mentioned in the mission statement of every school and is often featured on the “ABOUT OUR SCHOOL” boards at the entrance of schools.
However “these days” low self-esteems, difficulties to concentrate and general disrespectful attitudes seem to be on the rise in many student populations.
SAFE in SCHOOLS treats Self-esteem, Focus and Respect as practical and clearly observable dynamics that can be developed (or reinforced) and evaluated from session to session, from person to person.
Although these three human functions are interdependent and influence each other all the time, we use a step-by-step approach in our sessions. Our SAFE in SCHOOLS Guidelines "start & end" with Respect; Respect for ourselves is the foundation for Respect for others and our environment.
The SAFE in SCHOOLS Guidelines are:
1. Respect yourself (Play in your "Bubble")
2. Create a strong Focus
3. Develop (or reinforce) a positive Self-esteem
4. Respect others and your environment
1. SAFE in SCHOOLS sees “doing something we love doing" on a regular basis as an indispensable part of Respecting ourselves. It has to be an activity that truly re-creates us and boosts our well-being. Besides the various challenges of (pre-)adolescence, students are often 24/7 under the influence of each other (social media).
Our Player/Facilitators inspire each student how to create their "Bubble”; how to block out everybody & everything for a while in order to be able to completely Focus on their favorite Street Art activity.
2. Focus in SAFE in SCHOOLS playshops often needs an initial time to establish. We have to gradually undo ourselves from our pre-occupations. We symbolize "Focus" as looking at a painting. We don't fixate on one spot; our attention rather moves around within a theme. Every creative domain we explore needs our attention on various aspects, from narrow concentration on details to more general perceptions. Although this is an individual and complex experience, even the younger players understand that our Focus, to be fully present, has to stay “within the painting”.
3. When we are in our "Bubble" and we are able to focus completely on our activity, we always find back our "touch" with our skills. We enjoy executing our basic skills and when we feel like it, we start trying out harder skills. The SAFE in SCHOOLS Player / Facilitators always show by example that "missing" is an important element of our learning process. So fear of failure goes "out of the window". If someone’s Self-esteem stays on the low side (the student is extremely peer dependent, has lots of trouble accepting "missing" or has just "too much going on in his life"), one of the Player/Facilitators will gently try to undo these obstacles.
When our Self-esteem becomes positive, our feelings usually swing between JOY – for the many smaller and bigger moments of improvement or for the smooth execution of a routine – and RESILIENCE - for the many small mistakes during skill practise and for the bigger challenges that are part of mastering any form of art or sport.
4. When our Respect for ourselves becomes solid, we naturally develop (or reinforce) our Respect for our social and natural environment. We see this happen all the time even with the students with "behavioural problems".
Respecting others and the environment in SAFE in SCHOOLS playshops can express itself in a variety of ways; appreciating the skills of others, inspiring others, being inspired, giving passes in a game, holding a steady beat in a drum circle to let others improvise, spotting peers who are trying an acrobatic move, showing a beginner how to hold a paint brush, taking care of all the material, helping to set up before, clean up after, bringing in inspiring music for the session, etc., etc.
These guidelines are simple and directly evaluable. We show the key students of each Street Art from the beginning how to apply the SAFE in SCHOOLS Guidelines when practicing their own skills while getting a sense of how all other participants are at in applying these same guidelines in their practice.
Be in your BUBBLE
Create your FOCUS
JOY & RESILIENCE