In this episode, I share with you my top strategies for how you can integrate wellness into your classroom routines. As teachers, we always think of self-care as something to do on our own outside of the classroom, but I have experienced the value and power that comes from practicing self-care with a community. Implementing consistent classroom wellness routines into your classroom is an excellent opportunity to lead by example by modeling for students how you create space to slow down, reflect, and nourish yourself from the inside out.
Ways to Create a Culture of Wellness in Your Classroom
#1: Consistently make the time for students to practice your wellness routine
The first thing you can do to create a culture of wellness in your classroom is to carve out time at a regular interval that is intentionally set aside for students - and you - to engage in simple self-care routines. You could choose to do this on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis - or whatever works for you and your schedule. Whatever time frame you choose should be something you can commit to consistently. When I was in the classroom, my students had 10-15 minutes every Wednesday - I called it "Wellness Wednesdays" - set aside for them to check in with themselves and me. As far as the actual routine itself goes, you can also decide just how long (or short) this routine will last. Sometimes is better than no time, so I advise you to start small and add time as you feel ready!
#2: Create a menu of wellness routine options
Create a menu of options of easy exercises and activities students can choose from. The menu doesn’t have to be long. For example, when I had a wellness routine in my classroom, I started with three options before eventually expanding to five. Also, consider the diversity of the learners in your classroom when you’re creating the menu and choose options that are simple, relevant, and accessible for all learners.
#3: Give students an opportunity to check in with themselves and you
Provide students an opportunity to check in with themselves (and you!) by implementing a "Wellness Check". A Wellness Check is a short form with prompts that engage students in reflection, gratitude practices, and feedback about the classroom environment. During my Wellness Wednesday routine that I used when I was a teacher, my Wellness Check was a Google form my students submitted that included 5 simple prompts:
How are you feeling right now?
What is on your mind at the moment?
What is something you are looking forward to this week?
One thing you’re grateful for today…
How can I encourage/support you in the next week?
I found that students very quickly began looking forward to Wellness Wednesday and they never let me skip it. They seemed to relish the fact that it was time set aside just for them to explore, share, and help me understand a bit more about how I could support them. I appreciated that I had data on my students’ mental and emotional well-being and this information helped me build trust and learn how to best show up for them.
What I also loved about this routine is that it allowed me to take a few minutes to check in, pause, and engage in simple self-care whether it was jotting a quick note of gratitude, listening to a favorite song, or doing a 2-minute meditation. It was a win-win for everyone involved.
I hope this episode inspires you to bring simple wellness practices into your classroom. If you want additional, detailed step-by-step guidance and curated resources for how to create wellness routines in your classroom, check out my Guide to Cultivating Classroom Wellness Routines.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
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