I love that Back to School feeling!
I love waking up and the air feels crisp. I love the leaves turning and I really love new stationery.
Back to School is my favourite time of year. It feels so full of possibilities. My year runs September to August, as I’m sure many of yours do. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to stop using an academic diary I just can’t make January to December feel right.
I know that some of you are already back at school and I know that some won’t start back until next week but I wanted to say “Happy New Year” and I hope that this year brings you excited children, eager to learn and an easy sense of calm and contentment.
I know many of you are now thinking, “She’s mad isn’t she, completely mad, and totally out of touch with reality”.
Well, no, I’m not, I’m just a believer in looking for the positives and hoping for the best. I spent all my teaching career in inner city schools; Bradford, Leeds, Stoke on Trent, Wolverhampton, believe me when I say that I know that many of you can only dream of a calm and content classroom full of keen and enthusiastic students.
Don’t stop believing that it can be a reality though.
So how can you create a calm and focused environment?
- Don’t make the walls of your classroom too busy. It can be overwhelming for children who struggle with visual sensitivity and the children don’t notice most of it any way, it just becomes over stimulating wallpaper.
- Do work some relaxation into your daily routine. Maybe you do three deep breaths before you do the register every morning and after lunchtime. Perhaps you do some simple yoga stretches to wake up their bodies first thing on a morning. Whatever works for you. Little and often can make a HUGE difference.
- Lead by example. Children love to copy and whether consciously or unconsciously they will copy you. If you are calm and serene, they will grow more calm, if you are always shouting the volume in your classroom will grow, if you eat sensibly, they will eat more healthily too. Give it a try, you might be surprised.
- Don’t expect too much of them. They are children. Whatever age range you teach, whatever country you are in you are teaching little people. They are all individuals with their own personalities and their own needs. Sometimes they will have bad days. Don’t you? Try to be understanding. Yes I know that bad days snowball in classrooms and you can’t let some behaviour just pass as you might in your own home, but try to distract and encourage rather than shouting and reprimanding.
- Get some professional help. Whether you download my free ebook, sign up your school to my Calmer Classrooms with Mojo Programme or invite me to visit your school I can help you create a calmer classroom, whatever your budget.