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

Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First

I'm sure you've heard this phrase before:
Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Teachers tend to ignore the need for self-care. Here are some ideas to help teachers keep their strength so they can do their jobs.
Have you thought about what this means for teachers?
Like moms, teachers tend to put the needs of the children first.

Yes, I am guilty as a teacher AND as a mom.

I've been known to hold stress in, and just keep going. This is NOT healthy, and your body will eventually stop working properly. Stress is a killer.

So what can we do about self-care?
Most teachers I know don't have a whole lot of time for self-care (especially if they are moms as well!) 

But taking care of ourselves is essential. After all, if we don't put on our own oxygen masks, how can we help our students with their masks?

I like to put self-care into 3 categories:
Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Teachers tend to ignore the need for self-care. Here are some ideas to help teachers keep their strength so they can do their jobs.

Letting off some steam is a great way to take care of oneself! These are some great ways to "burn off" some of that tension:
1. Dance! This can include every kind of dancing from dancing at a club, dancing in your living room, or even taking tap dancing lessons!
2. Sing! You can sing in the shower, or just sing out anywhere! My favorite singing location is in the car!
3. Scream! Yes, that says scream, but be careful where  you do it, and who is watching. My favorite "socially acceptable" place to scream is on roller coasters! 
4. Exercise! Go for a run, do some jumping jacks, or take an exercise class. 

Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Teachers tend to ignore the need for self-care. Here are some ideas to help teachers keep their strength so they can do their jobs.

Sometimes going wild just doesn't do the job. Sometimes the opposite is what is needed. Here are some self care ideas for going mellow:
1. Take a nap! You can take a nap on the couch, or a big time nap in your bed!
2. Take a bath! Get yourself some essential oils or a "bath bomb" and treat yourself to a nice hot bath!
3. Sit outside and watch the clouds! Doesn't this sound delightful?
4. Meditate! Just let your head clear. Put on some very quiet music to help relax.
5. Read a book! Personally, I like historical fiction or mystery, but anything will do!
6. Write in a journal! Get lost in your own thoughts as you write.
7. Cuddle your pet! There is scientific evidence that this will lower your blood pressure!

Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Teachers tend to ignore the need for self-care. Here are some ideas to help teachers keep their strength so they can do their jobs.
Although a vacation is always a delight, most teachers don't make enough money to make a habit of going away all the time! But a simple escape from the usual routine can help bring peace.
1. Go for a walk! It doesn't matter to where. I'm lucky to live close to the ocean, so that's my favorite escape spot, but it could be a park, a block away from your home, or even a mall!
2. Take a class! Learn something you never knew before, but were always curious about! You might even make some new friends!
3. Watch a movie! Try one you've never seen, or maybe one you've seen over and over! (My favorite is The Notebook!)
4. Read poetry! I'm sure your local library has plenty of choices!
5. Look through an old photo album! What a nice way to escape to your own past!
6. Go to a comedy club! They say laughter is the best medicine!


Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Teachers tend to ignore the need for self-care. Here are some ideas to help teachers keep their strength so they can do their jobs.

Laughter is Truly the Best Medicine!

Did you realize that laughter is not only fun, but actually healthy for you?

Laughter is truly the best medicine: This post contains evidence that laughter is healthy AND helps learning happen! Plus, there are a few suggestions on squeezing a few laughs into the classroom.

Here are some of the benefits of laughter:

1. Laughter releases good hormones - the kind of hormones that fight the stress hormones. We all know that children these days have a great deal of stress in their lives! (Can we say TESTING?)
2. Laughter boosts the immune system - those same hormones that fight stress help your body fight germs!
3. It lowers the blood pressure.
4. It relaxes your muscles.
5. According to a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, laughter during instruction increases test stores. (I don't know anything about this study other than seeing this information in several different places including THIS link. I want to learn more about this study!)
6. Humor can help erase negative emotions. Seriously, how angry can you feel while laughing?
7. Laughter provides a workout for many muscles including your abs.
8. Laughter is contagious, and builds social bonds.
9. Laughter is free!
10. I may be biased on this one, but I think there are few sounds more pleasant than the sound of children laughing.
 
I do make a point to include humor in my classroom every day. Luckily, second graders have fairly simple senses of humor.


In a writing lesson a couple of weeks ago, (about including things to get the reader's attention) I told them there were two words that are guaranteed to make children giggle:  bellybutton and underwear. (Of course I was very dramatic when telling this, with that dramatic pause after each word so that I got two sets of giggles!) Try it on your kids, it works!


One thing I love about teaching little ones... they always laugh at my jokes... no matter how many times I say it!  I've been known to wear out many a joke, yet still get laughs! Yesterday, when we cleaned out desks, I told them to take home their Christopher Columbus booklets, since "That ship has sailed".  Those booklets kept showing up for the rest of the day (yes, we're working on organizational skills) and I kept repeating... "because that ship has sailed". I got a laugh every time!


But it's almost November, when I get to use one of my favorite jokes to wear out:

Question:  If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Answer:  Pilgrims!

Sometimes it takes some explanation, but that's half the fun!

What jokes do you share with your students?


Laughter is truly the best medicine: This post contains evidence that laughter is healthy AND helps learning happen! Plus, there are a few suggestions on squeezing a few laughs into the classroom.

15 Ways to Be Happy

I've done all the typical resolutions. I've done the "lose weight" resolution pretty much every year. I've done the "eat well", "exercise", "get organized", "manage your time better", "stress less", and "be the best you can be" resolutions for each new year. Enough!

These aren't bad resolutions, but I'm planning something a bit different.

My plan? 

I want to be happy. 

Not only me, but I want to bring others along with me!

15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy?  Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!

Honestly, it's quite a challenge for teachers (as well as students) to be happy these days. Our days seem to evolve around test scores, and never about the true needs of the children, which can be heart breaking to those of us who have always wanted the best for children. But I believe it can be done. (Did I mention that I also believe it will get better? I'll never stop believing that!)


As many of you know, I do a lot of reading about the brain and how children learn. Have I mentioned I also have read a lot about what makes people happy?  There's a lot of research out there!

Here are some scientifically researched ways to be happy:

15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!

Show Kindness - Evidence shows we can feel happier simply by showing a kindness to others. Try giving a compliment to someone and see how that makes you feel!
 
 
Practice Gratitude - I've read a great deal of research on the benefits of gratitude. Take time to think about your blessings.

15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Cooperate, Don't Compete - How can you help someone else have success? We are NOT in competition with each other!
 
15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Happiness is Contagious - If you are happy, it helps those around you to be happy!


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Be Positive - Keep a positive mindset. Believe you can be happy!


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Know Your Strengths -  Everyone is good at some things. What are your strengths?


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Get Enough Sleep - This seems pretty obvious, but if you don't get enough sleep, you'll be miserable in many ways. Although it's not always in our control, do your best to get enough sleep. If necessary, find time for a nap!
15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Listen to Music - There have been many studies connecting music with our moods. I'm sure you can name a few songs that put you in a good mood immediately when you hear them. 


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Have Something to Look Forward To - I've always noticed that I'm in a better mood if I have something I'm looking forward to. It might be a trip, a get together, or even a TV show! Now there's scientific research to back this up!


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Laugh - There are plenty of benefits to laughter (See THIS post!) Be sure to take plenty of opportunities to laugh each day!
15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Meditate -  This can mean many things to many people. Whether it means praying, quiet time, time to reflect, or just "down time", it is needed. With our very busy lives, it's more needed than ever!
15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Exercise - I'm sure you know all about how exercise produces endorphins. These are the "happy chemicals" that make you feel good. Seriously, don't you feel better after a workout? 
15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Reduce Stress - Many of the ideas listed in this post will help you reduce stress. We can't make it go away, but we can do our best to control the stress we have. Here are several ways: deep breathing, soft music, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, laughter, exercise, chewing gum, take a nap, hugging. kissing, or taking part in an outlet like painting, dancing, or writing.


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Be With Good People - The companionship of true friends or family can't be replaced. Spend time daily enjoying the company of good people.


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy? Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!
Spend Time with An Animal - No one can argue about the joy of a loving animal! Puppies are even used in hospitals for therapy!

These are just a few ways to help yourself (or others) be happy. 

Here's what I made to help my students be happy: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Be-Happy-Research-Based-Bracelets-2284852?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Be%20Happy%20Bracelets

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Be-Happy-Research-Based-Bracelets-2284852?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Be%20Happy%20Bracelets


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Be-Happy-Research-Based-Bracelets-2284852?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Be%20Happy%20Bracelets

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Be-Happy-Research-Based-Bracelets-2284852?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Be%20Happy%20Bracelets


These are great to hand out at morning meeting, discuss, then let the children wear them home to share with family. Maybe it will help their families be happy too!

Here's a little freebie to help children be happy: Gratitude Journal Labels!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gratitude-Journal-Labels-5100464?utm_source=5%20finger%20gratitude%20post&utm_campaign=gratitude%20journal%20labels


15 Ways to Be Happy - Do you want to be happy?  Do you want your students to be happy? Here are some researched strategies!




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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