The Crises In
Creating a Classroom Environment That Helps Students Grow
Studies on the mental health of school principals and teachers are now in mainstream media.
Principals reported higher levels of burnout than the general population, twice as much difficulty sleeping as a result of stress and were at higher risk of depression. ABC news January 2018
Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2017 that, Up to half of all Australian teachers are leaving the profession in the first five years.
The sheer quantity of work and a lack of time to focus on teaching and learning were the two biggest causes of stress.
Our Students Are Suffering Also
It’s not just our teachers and school leaders that are suffering but also our students. Many classroom teachers are dealing with students who display:
- A lack of focus and attention that often leads to …
- Disruptive behaviour that often leads to poor attendance and this leads to…
- Poor academic performance and confidence. It becomes a negative self-fulfilling prophecy!
Sadly, the interventions to make this better and improve the classroom experience for students and teachers miss a crucial component – the link between mental health and school performance.
- Nearly half (47 per cent) of Australian students feel very tense when they study, compared to the international average of 37 per cent.
- Based on the OECD average, 67 per cent of Australian students report feeling very anxious even if well prepared for a test, compared to the international average of 56 per cent (64 per cent for girls and 47 per cent for boys).
School-based stress reduction programs based on mindful play, fun and movement, have been shown to be effective in the United States. Similar programs would benefit Australian school children.
The Brain Play Professional Development
We’ve developed The Brain Play™ Staff, Student and Parent sessions to help your school community to flourish.
The day aims to improve mental health and wellbeing through movement, fun, and play for staff, students and parents.
Organise a day. The way it works:
- Student sessions for the entire year group. These sessions help build positive relationships, team building, resilience and wellness through fun play based activities.
- Staff sessions after school to enhance engagement in the classroom, and enhance staff wellbeing and mental health
- Parent sessions in the evening. Help parents connect and communicate with their students and manage the stress and overwhelm in their own lives.
Fun Brain Breaks
Our brains are wired for novelty. We know this because we pay attention to every stimulus in our environment that feels threatening or out of the ordinary.
When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments.
We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning.
Fun brain breaks refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur. The brain break actually helps to incubate and process new information.
Classroom physical activity breaks can improve students’ classroom behavior.
Nine studies explored physical activity that occurred in classrooms apart from physical education classes and recess.
In general, these studies explored short physical activity breaks (5–20 minutes) or ways to introduce physical activity into learning activities that were either designed to promote learning through physical activity or provide students with a pure physical activity break.
These studies examined how the introduction of brief physical activities in a classroom setting affected:
- cognitive skills (aptitude, attention, memory) and
- attitudes (mood);
- academic behaviors (on-task behavior, concentration); and
- academic achievement (standardised test scores, reading literacy scores, or math fluency scores).
Eight of the nine studies found positive associations between classroom-based physical activity and indicators of cognitive skills and attitudes, academic behavior, and academic achievement; none of the studies found negative associations. www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth
Playfulness boosts Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Play is where our subconscious naturally guides us.
- Play is the state where we are truly ourselves, once we let go of our egos and fear of looking stupid.
- Play immerses us in the moment, where we effortlessly slip into flow.
- Play allows us to imagine, to create, to bond with and understand each other.
- Play is what creates our strongest social circles.
- Play gets you around other humans, face-to-face, and allows you to form a real connection with them.
- And most importantly, play utterly destroys anxiety.
If you want to reduce the burnout of school staff and create a culture of growth and improvement in your students attend our Brain Play Professional Development to learn fun ways to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of staff and students
You’ll receive a range of evidence based practical strategies based on play, fun and movement that will:
- Help students focus, increase their productivity, and reduce their stress.
- Reduce disruptive behavior
- Increase effort students put into their activities as well as their ability to stay on task.
- Improve attention and memory,
- Increased brain activity and cognitive function,
- Enhance mood and ability to cope with stress.
The workshop will include:
- Large movement board games
- Musical workouts
- Brain breaks and energy breaks
- Dice and card activities to get everyone moving
- Team building games
- Game development and cross curricular activities
- And more…….
In addition to a whole day workshop, all attendees will take home a huge resource pack filled with games and lesson plan ideas valued at over $300.
What attendees said in Dale’s workshops
Excellent PD especially relevant to our students who are fitness resistant. class energisers appropriate for our learning as attention spans are limited.
Love the energy of Dale, he did an awesome job!