Promoting Wellbeing in the Classroom: Strategies for Teachers and Teaching Assistants
Wellbeing is a buzzword that we’re all hearing more and more of, but what does it mean? Well, it means promoting good health and happiness. And we’re not just talking about physical health here – mental well-being is just as important. So, how can teachers promote wellbeing in their classrooms? The following tips will help you to create an environment where children are happy and healthy.
Encourage children to communicate with you and each other.
Children need to feel safe in order to open up and share their feelings, so it is important for teachers and teaching assistants to model positive communication. When you talk with a child, use an encouraging tone of voice and make eye contact with them. You could also use body language that shows empathy, such as nodding or touching the child lightly on the arm when they are talking about something difficult (but only if this feels comfortable for both parties). This will help them feel understood by you–and may encourage them to talk more!
Provide a healthy school environment for improved wellbeing.
Providing a healthy school environment is one of the most important things you can do to promote wellbeing. A healthy school environment is one where children feel safe, supported and happy. They should be able to concentrate on learning without being distracted by problems at home or in their community.
Being aware of what makes up a healthy school environment is essential for teachers and teaching assistants who want to promote wellbeing among their pupils:
- Have clear rules about behaviour that everyone understands and can follow easily, such as how loud voice levels are allowed during lessons (not too loud!), how often students should be given warnings before being sent outside for timeout/time out if they’re misbehaving badly enough not just once but twice already during class time already today; etc.
Support children’s friendships.
Promoting friendship and social skills is important for all children. In the classroom, teachers can support children’s friendships by encouraging them to make friends and helping them develop their social skills.
Teachers should help children learn how to resolve disputes with other students by:
- Encouraging them to tell an adult if they are having problems with another student or group of students – this allows the teacher or TA(s) to intervene before things get out of hand;
- Helping them develop strategies for resolving disagreements without arguing or fighting;
- Helping them understand that everyone has different ways of doing things, so it’s important not judge other people by your own standards;
Help children to understand their emotions and feelings.
Children are not born with the ability to understand their emotions and feelings. Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned through experience, observation and guidance from adults. As a teacher or teaching assistant, you can help children to develop this skill by supporting them in identifying their own emotions and helping them to express them appropriately.
Teach children how to identify other people’s feelings by asking questions such as “I wonder if your friend was happy when he received his gift?” or “How do you think your sister felt when she fell over?”.
Promote health and wellbeing through physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity is a vital part of everyone’s daily life. It has many benefits, including:
- Increasing energy levels and helping you feel more alert
- Helping you to get rid of stress and feel happier
- Lowering your risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers
Physical activity can be incorporated into your classroom in many ways:
- You can encourage children to be active during breaks by doing stretching exercises or team games such as skipping rope or football (if they have access to the outdoors). This will improve their fitness levels while also providing opportunities for social interaction with other children.
- If there is space available within your building then consider installing exercise equipment such as treadmills or weights machines which would allow them an opportunity for self-directed exercise at any time during their break period
Promote healthy eating and food choices in the classroom.
Promoting healthy eating and food choices in the classroom
- Healthy eating is important for everyone, but especially so for children. As they grow up, they need to learn the skills that will help them make good food choices throughout their lives.
- Helping children develop healthy eating habits can be as simple as providing fruit at snack time or encouraging them to help prepare lunch on Fridays with you.
Promote positive body image and self-esteem in the classroom.
- Promote positive body image and self-esteem in the classroom.
- Encourage children to develop positive body images.
- Help your students understand that they are unique, special and have something to offer the world (not just their looks).
Promoting wellbeing in the classroom is easy, but we often don’t think about it enough
Promoting well being in the classroom is easy, but we often don’t think about it enough. Wellbeing is about feeling good and doing what you enjoy. It’s about having a sense of purpose and direction in life, as well as feeling connected to others around you.
Wellbeing can be promoted by:
- Taking time out to relax and unwind – making sure your pupils have regular breaks during lessons; allowing them to choose what they do during these breaks (e.g., going outside for some fresh air); allowing them time at the end of each lesson or day where they can do something that makes them happy (e.g., listening to music).
- Encouraging communication among students – encouraging them not just to talk with their friends but also with those who are different from themselves; listening carefully when someone has something important they want/need say rather than jumping straight into speaking yourself; taking an interest in what other people say so that when there’s something important coming up later on which might affect another person directly then there’s enough time left over afterwards for everyone else involved too.”
We hope that these strategies will help you to promote wellbeing in your classroom. Wellbeing is an important part of life, and it’s something we should all be working towards.
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