Since the beginning of November we have been starting each day at Mountain View Elementary with a new routine. Students and staff as well as visitors participate in it together at the same time. Its purpose is to help each individual start their day with a feeling of mindfulness, focus on the positive, and make a thoughtful connection to other members of the Mountain View Family.
The routine goes like this: I start the morning announcements with “Give me five,” (this is the common signal all teachers use to have students be quiet focus on the speaker and listen to what is being said). At that point everyone in the school stops what they are doing and takes three big deep breaths, in through the nose for 5 seconds and out through the mouth for a little longer (simultaneously, following the prompts I give) and are encouraged to think about the kind actions they will take to make the upcoming day a positive one for everybody. Afterword everybody shares a smile or an upbeat gesture and we move on with our day.
Try it yourself and see its benefits. By all means encourage your students to do the same at home when a stressful situation arrives, and best of all do it with your students
Taking those three deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, while thinking positive thoughts is a strategy we ask our students to use whenever they feel the need to calm down and collect themselves. It really works well when a teacher does it along with the student. Many of our teachers use practice for their whole class to get them refocused and return to work. I use the practice often throughout the day to clear my mind, relieve stress or to make sure I “am in the moment” for when I need to change gears and be thoughtful about a situation I am about to address.