12 ways you can help balance stress for your students

The results are in: students are more stressed than adults. Being a kid is not supposed to be this way.

Although stress is an inevitable part of life and a certain amount of stress is important for student success, there are ways we can manage stress for students so it doesn’t become too much. That could lead to negative health consequences and poor behavior choices for teenagers. Here are twelve ways you can keep the stress levels in your classroom at comfortable –and manageable – levels.

  1. Deep breathing and visualization: Start the day by having your students inhaling for four seconds, and then exhaling for four seconds. Have your students think about a relaxing place in their mind. It’s a great way to start the day!
  2. Be realistic: When you’re talking to kids, make sure you give realistic warnings, deadlines, recommendations, and reassurances to students. Make their responsibilities attainable within reasonable time frames.
  3. Avoid Clutter: Putting up some decoration and student work is good, but too much visual stimulation in the classroom can sometimes lead to distraction and be overwhelming to students.
  4. Movement: Give your students the opportunity to stand up and stretch after long periods of sitting down. You could also have students sit on exercise balls or have “fidget toys” at their desks.
  5. Reduce unnecessary noise: Watch out for hard surfaces in your classroom that can amplify noise. You can isolate noisy activities to the corners of the classroom so they don’t disturb those not involved.
  6. Transitions: Switch it up and put a more easygoing activity in between two difficult activities to allow your students to remain focused.
  7. Open communication: Make sure your students feel like they can come to you for advice and support when they need it.
  8. Time management: Start the year by going over with your students various time management techniques and strategies so they can handle the workload.
  9. Desk organization: Whether it’s once a day, once a week, or even once a month, it is a good idea to allow 5-10 minutes during class time for students to organize their desks and do things like sharpen their pencils. If you already have a snack time or other breaks, you could combine the two.
  10. Music: Play classical music (or other relaxing music) during class work to help calm nerves or facilitate silent reading time.
  11. Keep in touch with parents: Especially when students are showing signs of being stressed out, it’s good to make sure you have open communication with their parents as well.
  12. Don’t stress out yourself! A calm and collected teacher leads to a calm and collected environment, so practice what you preach!

 

We hope these tips can help reduce stress for you and your students! Do you have any ideas to help reduce stress in your classroom?

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Ashley Moffitt

Marketing Intern at KIPP New Jersey
Ashley is a contributor to the KIPP New Jersey Blog.