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Monthly Archives: October 2018

  • How Does Students' Physical Wellbeing Affect Their Mental Health?

    Many programs focus on getting students more physically active, citing its benefits for their health both short and long term. They are not wrong, students do benefit from physical activity, but not just physically. They gain important mental, social and academic benefits as well. As a teacher, you can help your students to get active through a motivational school environment, class activities, clubs, sports, and field trips!  Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign focused on getting children active and nutritionally healthy, and has a lot of great resources teachers can use every day.

    The body and the mind

    Physical activity in youth and teens can help them develop mentally. A 2005 study published in Oxford Academic by a group of scientists found a significant link in physical activity and the mental health of students, particularly those in poverty or low-income households. They found higher rates of positive mental health indicators, and lower rates of negative ones for things like anxiety and depression. The students who were physically active in their school day were better equipped mentally for their day as well.

    Improvements in social development

    In addition to helping students be mentally well, physical activity also can lead to social development. Particularly in the participation of sports and physically active or team-based clubs. Students with a team and a coach or adult organizer gain powerful lessons about working with peers, perseverance, practicing and setting goals, and interacting with adults. This is especially important for students who may not have the same types of interactions at home due to numerous factors. As a teacher looking to start a program to engage your students, a sports team or club could always help them, and may give them life-long skills.

    Better academic performance

    Lastly, while sports are often seen as detractors from educational pursuits that is more often the opposite of the truth. The students who are engaged in regular sports or fitness activities, with their increased social skills and mental acumen, often achieve higher academically. The lessons they learn about practice and perseverance are transferable, and they have the social skills to speak with adults about the difficulties they are having. They have the skills they need in and out of the classroom.

    Instilling the habits of physical activity in students from a young age will benefit your students for their entire life. So, start a soccer team, or running club, or a badminton league. If you believe your students will engage with it, then go for it. You can also try to find ways to bring physical movement into your classroom as well, with games or activities that get students up and moving.

    At Daydream Education, we have a large variety of physical education posters designed to motivate students, and encourage a positive mindset when it comes to health and wellbeing.

  • The Wellbeing of Students Needs to be Well-Rounded

    Students don’t learn well if they don’t feel safe. It seems obvious when stated, but many schools lack a safe community environment that their students so desperately need. While schools account for the physical safety of their students, they sometimes neglect the mental or social aspects of student wellbeing. As someone working in a school, what can you do?

    Recognize signs and symptoms 

    Firstly, it is good to be able to recognize signs and symptoms of students not feeling well mentally or socially. Schools are now offering fantastic professional development in mental health “first aid” and being able to help students in times of need. Social difficulties can be harder to spot, especially with things like bullying. Students who seem withdrawn or distant from their peers, uncomfortable with groups of others, or overly loud and obnoxious may be facing social problems. Watching how your students interact with one another is important in every class environment, as it can help aid learning in addition to improving students' wellbeing.

    Tackle bullying head on

    If you find there is bullying going on at your school, what can you do? Psychology today offers a few great tips for how to stop bullying. Among them, make sure students know who to talk to and how to talk to them if they are being bullied. This should be clear, and obvious that they will not receive any judgment or negative repercussions. Bullies often act that way because they seek an audience and approval. Speaking with those students individually, and helping them find more constructive outlets to achieve approval may help tremendously. Lastly, make sure students know the vocabulary to use to address bullying, both as a victim and a bystander. This can be achieved by displaying educational posters, and it will give your students valuable tools to use for years to come.

    Encourage conversation about online bullying 

    Often, bullying in schools takes place outside of the walls, and online instead. Online bullying is an all-too-common method of harassment among peers. As educators we rarely see this as it happens on private social media accounts, and anonymously outside school hours. We can address it though, through discussing internet etiquette and citizenry with students. A great way to start this conversation is by displaying an online bullying poster that can act as a discussion point, while also making sure students feel comfortable and confident reporting abuse.

    Set a good example for your students in your relationships with other educators, and work daily to make your school environment feel safe and respectful. Students who feel comfortable in their learning environment will do markedly better in their studies than those who don’t. We should always aim to provide for the wellbeing of our students.

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