Carrie Bell, a graduate of the CAPP program, is an artist, educator, and seminar leader. On her website, she calls herself a social artist, a person who seeks to enhance human capacities in the light of social complexity. She has formal education in dance, fine arts, education – and now positive psychology!
After years as a professional dancer, her current work is as an elementary art teacher at Julia A. Stark Elementary School in Stamford, CT where physical education, media, music and art classes are referred to as “the essentials” not “the specials.”
Recently, she shared with us that her 5th grade artists created a Keith Haring Inspired “Choice Map.”
The Choice Map, a lesson we use in CAPP, comes from the work of Dr. Marilee Adams. According to Adam’s Inquiry Institute website, “Learner/Judger™ mindset distinctions allow people to shift from blame-focused questions that impede success to solution-focused questions that facilitate it. Whether we ask Learner or Judger questions frames our thinking, listening, behaving, and relating. This is why we focus on our mindset first. The goal is to build a more resilient Learner Mindset.”
Carrie says, “We changed up some language/imagery for age appropriate purposes but the underlying message is as we know it; meaning, success and how we feel is largely dependent upon the questions we ask ourselves.” Carrie’s project description, which she posted for her students to read, states: Our brains are always asking either Learner Path questions (that help us feel great!) or, “Stuck In The Mud” Path questions (that make us feel yucky, like we are stuck in the mud!). What this map helps us see is that there is always a way to feel better. Can anyone find the golden path, the Switching Lane? This lane was painted gold because it is the most important part of the painting! Whenever we feel sad, mad, frustrated or “stuck in the mud” we always have a choice to take the Switching Lane to the Learner Path! We know we are on the Switching Lane when we begin asking ourselves Learner Path questions. We will also know we are on the Switching Lane when we begin to feel better.”
Can you imagine more teachers like Carrie who actually educate their students on important life skills through their discipline? Thank you Carrie for teaching, creating, playing, dancing, and teaching positive psychology in the world. You make it a better place!