In 2017, after 12 years working in higher education, I have decided to embark on a new journey: planting seeds of mindfulness in preschool education. I believe that it’s important to plant seeds of mindfulness at a younger age, as children have open mind and less resistance to learning something new.
Together with my family and business partners, we established Happiness-Based Education (Happy Schools for short) in Central Vietnam. Since then we have had three schools in full operation: 2 preschools and 1 primary school with 1,100 students and 110 teachers & staff.
As an investor, curriculum developer, and senior advisor to HBE Happy Schools, I have helped found an education model that focuses on happiness and well-rounded education. We use the following 5 stars as the guiding stars that illuminate our path of happy schools implementation.
So what is the Happy Schools 5 stars model?
⭐️ The second star is our two mottos: “Awakening the source of love – Nurturing the seeds of understanding” and “Awakening creativity – Nurturing talents”
⭐️The third star is Three circles of connection: Self-care, Care for others and Care for the Earth.
⭐️The fourth star is Four pillars of learning (UNESCO): Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together, and Learning to be
⭐️The fifth star is Five keys to success. We define success of our students by these five aspects: well-rounded personality, knowledge, competencies, well-being and international integration.
How do we implement this 5 stars model in daily school activities?
I have offered mindfulness and social emotional learning workshops on a monthly basis for all the school administrators, teachers, staff and students of our schools. We have enjoyed basic mindfulness practices such as mindful breathing, mindful sitting, mindful walking, body scan, and mindful communication. We have also cultivated the skills of happiness by practicing gratitude and kindness every day at school.