World Class Teachers

Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

While teachers are responsible for the learning and educational future of our students, we are also part responsible for their wellbeing. Whether we spend an hour or a full day with our students day in and day out, teachers are the usually the first to be able to notice stress in students.

It is important to recognise the signs of stress in students – and how to help them manage it during school time. Take a look at some of the ways to help students manage stress in the classroom in a productive way.

Journal Writing Time

Journal writing to manage stress
Flickr Creative Commons / Allie Holzman

While most students may groan or roll their eyes at the thought of mandatory journal writing, it is actually a proven technique to release stress.

Set aside a few minutes of your lesson every other day, or a longer session once a week for journal writing. Students can take the time to write out their problems or even short stories – whatever they feel like writing.

Let the students know that the contents of their journals are private. However, if they would like you to read them partially or entirely later on, they can add colour coded sticky notes to relevant sections of their journals.

Mid-Class Stretching

Sometimes all anyone needs is a break from sitting down and a bit of fresh air. Halfway through the class or after a lesson, make some time for mandatory stretching.

Have each student stand up, stretch their arms and legs and move about for 5 minutes or so. This is also a great way to get the blood flowing again and will help everyone focus on the next lesson, including you!

Anonymous Questions Box

Ideal for PSHE teachers, an anonymous questions box can help shy students get their queries solved and help ease any nervousness.

At the end of class, give each student a slip of paper where everyone has to write one or two lines, either a joke or a serious question, and then submit it into the anonymous questions box.

No student is singled out or made fun of for participating, and you can see how many students have serious questions.

After the students have gone, you can review all of the slips and see if there are any questions that can be interwoven into the next lesson. This way all students remain anonymous, and you can hopefully answer the question in front of the whole class – who may all be thinking the same thing!

Motivational Posters in the Classroom

Motivational Poster
Flickr Creative Commons / Enokson

While this is also a good way to decorate your classroom at the start of a new term, this method promotes positive messages without pressuring students to partake in anything.

Whether you want to pick up a few posters from a shop or ask your students to make them as part of a class project,

Making sure the classroom is and remains a safe learning environment is a top priority for a teacher, and posters with motivational quotes offer a silent reminder that you’re looking out for your students.

Do you have any other tips to help students manage stress in the classroom? Share them with us by tweeting @WCTeachers!

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