For most teachers, the idea of taking care of themselves is usually put on the back burner because their job is to take care of others. However, taking care of yourself as a teacher, along with others, is an essential component of creating a healthy classroom environment for your students, too. When you have a positive, healthy, classroom environment, then you are creating a space where not only you are at your best, but your students are as well. Here are five ways to support a positive learning space for you and your students – one where teacher wellness is fostered along with an enriching environment.
Teacher Wellness Helps to Build a Classroom Community
The majority of a teacher and students’ day is spent in the classroom, so it’s important to create a space where everyone feels safe and secure. Building a sense of community within the classroom will help to make everyone feel welcome. Morning meetings are a great way to help students connect with one another, as well as team-building activities. The closer students become with one another, and with you, the closer you are to having a solid classroom community.
Set Clear Expectations
If you want to survive the school year, then you must set clear expectations from the very start. When students don’t know what is expected of them, that is when the classroom can start to get out of control. Try a 3-step approach to creating rules and expectations to ensure a safe a respectful learning environment.
Schedule Brain Breaks
Incorporating brief physical activities like a brain break throughout the day has proven to help students refocus their attention. Movement breaks like stretching or yoga can help restore students’ focus and help to get them back on track to learning.
Have a Clean Classroom
In order to have a healthy classroom climate, you must have a clean classroom. Teach students about health and hygiene, assign classroom jobs to help keep the room clean, send students to the nurse when they get sick, and try to minimize classroom objects that tend to attract germs. By asking students to follow good hygiene habits, as well as keeping the classroom clean, you will keep your room free of infectious diseases and germs.
Take a positive approach to your job. Not only is being positive healthy for you, but it’s also healthy for your students as well. The presence of a positive role model can only have positive results. By maintaining a positive attitude, you are improving your ability to help your students learn. Take the time to get to know your students on a deeper level as well. The more positive your student-teacher relationship is, the better the chance your students will succeed.
Happiness is also an important component of a healthy classroom climate. Smile, laugh and don’t be afraid to be silly sometimes. Spread joy around others, and you will see your students shine.