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Showing posts with label coping with stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coping with stress. Show all posts

Help! Teaching is Stressful!

Let's face it. Teaching is stressful. In so many ways! In fact, teaching brings on the worse kind of stress: chronic stress!
 
Help! Teaching is Stressful! Here are 10 of the dangers of chronic stress, and 20 things we can do about it!
 
Taking care of a whole classroom of little ones (or big ones) who all need attention and help is pretty draining!

Not to mention testing.

Not to mention all the other things that we are required to do that has absolutely NOTHING to do with children and teaching!

OK, venting is over. 

But seriously, here are some of the dangers of chronic stress.
Help! Teaching is Stressful! Here are 10 of the dangers of chronic stress, and 20 things we can do about it!

Dangers of Chronic Stress:

1. Chronic stress can cause cravings for sweet foods.
2. Chronic stress leads to excessive fat in the abdominal region.
3. Chronic stress has been linked to back pain. 

4. Chronic stress can make a person more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke.

5. Chronic stress can cause hair loss.
6. Chronic stress can cause an imbalance of microorganisms in the gut, leading to digestive problems.
7. Chronic stress can interfere with sexual function.
8. Chronic stress affects hormone production, causing fatigue and inability to handle stress. 
9. Chronic stress weakens immunity.
10. Chronic stress causes premature aging. 

Sounds scary doesn't it? All is not lost. There are plenty of things you can do about all that stress!
 

Help! Teaching is Stressful! Here are 10 of the dangers of chronic stress, and 20 things we can do about it!

Strategies for Coping with Stress

1. Identify your stressors.
2. Meditate!
3. Spend time with friends!
4. Exercise!
5. Color! (I'm sure you've seen coloring books for adults!)
6. Hug! (Seriously, Science proves this helps!)
7. Experience Nature!
8. Religious rituals!
9. Acupuncture!
10. Aromatherapy!
11. Sing!
12. Dance!
13. Kiss!(See THIS post.)
14. Listen to music!
15.Enjoy a hobby!
16. Chew Gum!
17. Laugh more!(See THIS post.)
18.  Take a break!
19. Get extra sleep!
20. Express your gratitude!

Good luck taking control of your stress!


Help! Teaching is Stressful! Here are 10 of the dangers of chronic stress, and 20 things we can do about it!



Five Tips for Teaching Reading Using Recent Brain Research

Five Tips for Teaching Reading Using Recent Brain Research - This post connects recent brain research to learning to read with some helpful tips.
I've read so much about the brain based learning lately, I thought I'd share some tips that connect the two.
  1. Move:  Kids need to move.  The moving helps the brain build dendrites.  Dendrites help the parts of the brain connect, which helps the memory.  If the children involve moving as part of the learning, it helps the learning to stick.  I find the more movement, the better.  I use a lot of Brain Gym in my classroom, as well as lots of other types of movements, just to keep the dendrites flowing.  Little tasks such as "take a walk around your desk", or "touch each wall" are great for the little ones.  If combined with a skill ("say a short e word as you touch each wall") will help even more!
  2. Work together:  Social Interactions are important in learning.  In reading, it's important that these pairings are done at similar levels, if possible.  Sometimes I let the children choose partners, but more often than not, I assign partners.  (I do a lot of team building exercises the first few weeks so they are comfortable with each other, and understand their responsibilities as a partner.)  Children can read in pairs, or practice spelling words in pairs, or use new vocabulary words in pairs.  Sometimes I'll have the pairs teach each other something I just taught.  (Teach your partner what sequencing is.)
  3. Coping with stress: 
    Teach children to deal with stress.  Stress is unavoidable, it happens, even to children.  But it prevents learning, so we need to help the children cope with stress in acceptable ways.  I've done several yoga, guided imagery, and deep breathing exercises with the children.  One of my favorites with children is The Tree.  The children stand straight with their hands at their sides, and imagine they are a tree.  First, the children take a deep breath in, while raising their head, imagining they are facing the sun.  (I have to tell them, if I can hear the breath, it's too loud.)  Their hands should stay at their sides, focusing on the sun shining on their "leaves" as they take in the sun's energies.  Then they lower their heads and exhale slowly while they imagine the energy going out through their roots (toes) into the soil.  A few inhales and exhales and they are good to go!
  4. The Arts:  I've always been a fan of arts in the classroom, and the research supports this.  Arts help attention span as well as working memory.  I'm not just talking about visual arts (although I encourage these).  Arts also includes performing arts:  singing, dancing & movement, and acting.  Reader's Theatre, drawing or painting pictures to reflect parts of a story, or making up a song about the setting of a story are some ways to connect the arts to reading.
  5. Make 'em Laugh: 
    Emotions play a huge role in memory, especially happy emotions.  I've always been a big fan of humor in the classroom.  (I doubt I would have survived this long without it!)  As long as the children are happy, there's a better chance for learning to be happening.  I make sure many of my Read Alouds are humorous books.  There are plenty out there!  Robert Munsch is a favorite of mine, as well as many children.  (I LOVE The Paper Bag Princess!)  Here's another list to start: funny-read-alouds .
All in all, keep them happy, keep them busy, and keep reading to them.  Reading to children is the very best way to help children learn to read.
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