8 to Great Feels Their Feelings


Morgan Moomey, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Ms. Roxie Smith’s 8 to Great elective class teaches students mindfulness, patience and gratitude by utilizing journals for work. Their journal work is based on the original book, 8 to Great, by author MK Mueller. Smith added a bullet journaling aspect to the original book, giving her students a confidential way to express feelings and emotions to the level that they want, while also being a tangible, gradable piece of work. 

The book displays an eight-step process to “teach essential life skills and a positive attitude formula that empowers students to make their best decisions every time” (8togreat.com). The 8 High-Ways to Great: 

  1. Get the Picture
  2. Risk
  3. Full Responsibility
  4. Feel All Your Feelings
  5. Honest Communication
  6. Forgive the Past
  7. Be Grateful for the Present
  8. Hope for the Future

The sixth, seventh, and eighth High-Ways break down the Formula for Positive Attitude. 

This semester’s students are currently working through High-Way four: Feel All Your Feelings. “This High-Way reveals how accepting our emotions empowers us. When we learn to allow both our ‘mads’ (Angergy) and ‘sads’ (Release), we heal” (8togreat.com). “Angergy” is a combination of the words “angry” and “energy”. One of the many activities that Ms. Smith arranged for the students to try during this High-Way was dog therapy. For this, Jacque Bair, a former secretary and a well-known face here at AHS, brought her dog, Storm, to Ms. Smith’s class. 

Storm is eleven months old, and Bair is preparing her to be a therapy dog. Bair demonstrated how Storm can lay on her to apply pressure therapy. Pressure therapy is used to relieve anxiety and bring comfort to the person. Next, Bair had Storm lay down so she could show the class how to use dog therapy to relieve feelings of anxiety and tension. She started by massaging Storm’s head, moving down her neck, down her back, and then her legs. She explained that this not only feels good to the dog, but it helps the person feel a relief of tension. Bair then allowed Storm to roam around the classroom, giving the students an opportunity to pet the dog. 

Bair was also brought in to lead the students in a Pound Fitness class. This allowed the class to “beat” out any anger that they might be feeling. Ms. Smith incorporates fun and educational activities like these in order to improve the mindfulness and positive attitude of her students.