Caroline: Being a Student again – after 20 years of teaching

Caroline: Being a Student again – after 20 years of teaching

Caroline stepped back into student life, two decades after joining the teaching workforce. She shares with us how this has opened new career pathways for her, and how her learning helped her in everyday life.

Caroline Araneta
Wellbeing teacher at an international school in Switzerland
Post Graduate Certificate in Positive Education, 2021

Q: How has learning Positive Psychology changed your life? 

The concept of Positive Psychology as a branch of mainstream psychology only came to my attention a few years ago, as a new member of staff in my school introduced us to Positive Education and connected us with Geelong Grammar and the Institute of Positive Education. Since then, I have completed the Post Graduate certificate in Positive Education with The School of Positive Psychology (TSPP), and have spent the last few years becoming increasingly mindful of my own strengths and also thinking traps —- negative patterns of thought which prevent us from seeing things as they really are —- which I sometimes find myself falling into. I have been able to apply my learning in school, teaching both students and staff, and it has been extremely rewarding. 

This year has also led me to accepting a new job in Switzerland as a Wellbeing teacher with the opportunity to develop a wellbeing program and support staff. This is something which I am very excited about and would not have even dreamt of a few years ago. 

Positive Psychology has also been helpful at home with my son.


Q: How has it changed the way you work?

I started to try and flip my approach with my students from looking at absences in behaviour to a much more positive focus, and have found that my connections with them are stronger as a result. It has also provided me with more tools and a wider range of vocabulary to use with my students, focusing on positives and building resilience in the students, and also within myself. I found that I am much more involved in different education communities as well, through the Positive Education lens, taking part in a range of online workshops and conferences.

Q: What value do you see in the education at TSPP?

I really enjoyed the access to the highly qualified teachers at TSPP as well as connection with a diverse community of individuals who come from a wide range of backgrounds. Through the course I have made connections with others socially and professionally, and I feel that everyone I have met is approachable and supportive. Being the student for a change (after 20 years) has actually been highly stimulating and exciting as well, and I am glad that my regular mantras to students about citing sources for example has actually come in handy when writing my own essays.

Q: What is your experience with the learning community at TSPP?

A few weeks ago, 9 months after completing an online 2 weeks Masterclass in Positive Education, I finally got to meet up with my classmates face to face. It was lovely to actually meet everyone in real life, to share our stories and hopes and dreams, and I strongly recommend this to everyone doing online classes currently. Find a way to have coffee or dinner together. It’s worth it!

Q: Where have you been able to apply your learnings?

​​I am now a teacher of wellbeing in Switzerland at an international school and have been putting all my learning into practise as I start forming and teaching a curriculum for Wellbeing for years 7-13, in collaboration with primary school. Definitely a new challenge but very exciting, and so far my new students are taking to it well. I have started to challenge them to identify their values, strengths and motivations, while enjoying the big open spaces in a new country!


Inspired to embark on your own transformation journey? Find out more on the courses at The School of Positive Psychology!