And on any given day, there might be a student who needs to take a moment to disconnect and regroup. The student who needs a moment is usually easy to spot - sometimes disruptive to their group or completely disengaged from the surrounding activity; body language is also a good indicator.
We’ve all had those moments and we’ve all had those students in our classrooms.
Consider having a space, in class, for students, (or teachers) to take a moment.
And no, this isn’t a new take on standing in the corner; it’s a space where a student can step back, by choice, without fear of judgement or punishment, and freely observe/acknowledge how they are feeling, use a calming down tool from the “I need a moment space” and decide after two minutes, if they need further discussion with a teacher or they can handle it on their own.
You can ask for students’ input on what they would like to have in the space or you can start it on your own.
Here are some suggestions for your “I need a moment” space:
- Make the space inviting and warm, a little piece of “home” in class. A small rug, pillows, maybe a meditation or a bean bag chair.
- Provide a journal for students to share how they are feeling or use this feeling chart (or something similar). Consider modifying to add a column where the student can check off if they’d like to talk with their teacher or another professional.
- Colouring books (and pencils) are a great, physical way to help a child temporarily disconnect and take control of their emotions.
- Stock your space with healthy snacks. Consider nut-free energy bars, trail mix, crackers, bottles of water. Jeremy Mettler, one of the teachers featured in the film, always has snacks on hand because, “If a kid is hungry, they’re not paying attention to my class.”
- Remind your students most emotions pass in 90 seconds.
- Most of all, model the behavior so students know that it’s really ok to utilize the space when needed.