Teachers, Schools 2 minute read

5 minutes with Principal, Tip Kennedy.

Meet Tip Kennedy. Tip is a principal at Richmond West, an inner Melbourne primary school that recently received its very own Smiling Mind Space. We spoke to Tip about how she uses mindfulness as an educator and how the new space will support the school community.

Dulux_SmilingMinds_1381 v2

Tell us a bit about yourself...

In 2018 I made the switch from the secondary to the primary sector. I have loved being part of a vibrant school community and establishing relationships with students and their parents, grandparents, younger siblings and extended family members. After more than 30 years in education, spending time in the classroom is still my favourite thing.

In secondary schools I have seen wellbeing and mental health issues in adolescents and want to do whatever I can to promote positive health in young children as they move through primary school. Working with children and their families is a great privilege.

Why do you love being a principal?

Schools are dynamic places and never dull! I love being part of teaching and learning in my own school and implementing the broader state-wide initiatives.

Community is the most important and often the most interesting aspect of my role.

Dulux_SmilingMinds_1194 West Richmond no kids LR

How do you take care of your mind?

When my mind is not settled and calm I am much less productive and much less content. Regular mindfulness practice helps me stay grounded, responsive rather than reactive and a much nicer person to be with! I try to check in on my mind during the day and see how wild or settled it is. Quiet moments during the day are key to maintaining equilibrium and sustaining positive work.

How does your school community integrate mindfulness? How long has it been a part of your school's practices?

Richmond West has a school-wide daily mindfulness session after lunch. This helps children and teachers transition from the busy-ness of play time back into the classroom. The Smiling Mind session is played over the PA. The quiet across the school is amazing.

Dulux_SmilingMinds_1030 v2

What benefits do you see as a result of mindfulness in the classroom? For both parents and students?

There is no difference between mindfulness in the classroom and mindfulness at home. The skill of mindfulness is a handy tool to use as a foundation of good mental health. Students and parents can benefit in the following ways:

  • Greater awareness of self and others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Increase in concentration
  • Decrease in stress

Your school selected the Awareness Space. Why did you select Awareness? How is this mindfulness theme important to your school community?

Our school values the harmonious culture of respect and understanding which is visible in our diverse community. Awareness is a fundamental skill for mindfulness and the mindset which helps develop an understanding of self and others. We explicitly teach self-regulation and positively reinforce those behaviours in children which create good relationships between people in the community.

If I could give each child a gift it would be the gift of awareness.

What is your favourite thing about the space?

My favourite thing is the colours and furnishings used. The children love the fish tank.

Dulux_SmilingMinds_1005 v2

How do you see your school community using the new Smiling Mind Space?

The new Smiling Mind Space is in our library. It will be used as a quiet corner for reading, reflection and mindfulness practice. It is a space for students, parents and staff. I hope the experience of awareness that students have in the space is one they can carry with them throughout the day. 

How would you encourage other schools to get involved with mindfulness?

Embark on a whole community mindfulness journey. Mindfulness is well accepted as a tool for good mental health and wellbeing. Make the time to investigate what other schools are doing.

Dulux_SmilingMinds_1221 West Richmond with dog LR

Create a dedicated mindfulness space in your school with our FREE downloadable Toolkit, developed in collaboration with Dulux colour experts

 

New call-to-action

SM_SmilingSpacesLogo Vertical_V3.0-09

 

Smiling Mind

Written by Smiling Mind

Latest

Self-care tips for parents, from The Wholesome Doctor

Self Care is all about checking in with yourself regularly and asking yourself "What do I need in this moment?" 

Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

Navigating emotions with your child

By encouraging your child to acknowledge and recognise how they feel in the present moment, not in the past and not in t...

Family, Parents, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

3 steps to support your child through worries

Children excel when they have caring, trustworthy, and supportive relationships with others in their lives. You as their...

Family, Parents, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read
Quote of the week
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

At home

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read

Findings from our annual State of Mind report

With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching into its second year, supporting the mental health of Australians has never been m...

Children, Mental Health, COVID19 3 minute read

Responding to the “hidden” youth mental health crisis

Throughout the 18 long months of the COVID pandemic, a parallel mental health crisis has been growing in the shadows. No...

Children, Students, Mental Health 2 minute read

At Work

5 Tips To Help Recognise and Address Workplace Stress

As you slowly make your way back to the office and transition from the working from home lifestyle, you can be met with ...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

3 tips to help you Do Nothing

Smiling Mind has teamed up with the Do Nothing Challenge to help raise money for mental health and establish healthy hab...

Workplace, Mental Health, Self care, COVID19 3 minute read

5 Ways to Support Your Team's Mental Health This October

It comes as no surprise that the combination of public health and economic crises that has occurred over the past year h...

Workplace, Mental Health, Self care, COVID19 3 minute read

At school

5 Steps To A Better Night’s Sleep

It’s no secret getting a good night’s sleep works wonders for your mental and physical health – but for some, getting a ...

Family, Students, Schools, Mental Health, Meditation, Informal mindfulness 5 minute read

3 Ways to Support Your Kids As They Return To The Classroom

After months of lockdown and homeschooling for the country’s two most populated cities, the time has finally come for ki...

Family, Students, Schools, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 minutes with Principal, Tip Kennedy.

Meet Tip Kennedy. Tip is a principal at Richmond West, an inner Melbourne primary school that recently received its very...

Teachers, Schools 3 minute read

News

How Smiling Mind put preventative Mental Health care on the map

There is perhaps no greater challenge than to start something out of nothing.  Ten years ago, this is exactly the challe...

Mental Health, COVID19, Media release 2 minute read

Partnership Announcement - Kmart

We are excited today to announce a new partnership between Smiling Mind and Kmart. Built on a shared vision of a happier...

Mental Health, Media release 1 minute read

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System is a game changer for mental health prevention

Smiling Mind has supported findings released today from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, speci...

Media release 2 minute read
Recent initiatives
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 3.30.05 pm

NAIDOC Week with Jack Charles