Calm can prevail! The power of calm can be felt the minute one enters your classroom. The tone is set by you, and you alone. This calm should be felt even through the most chaotic of lessons, moments, interactions, routines and structures of the day and week.
Your classroom should have smooth lines of traffic. Creating this ease of movement throughout the classroom will help to maintain this sense of calm. The old saying of ‘less is more’ should be your mantra.
Minimize what is kept in student desks. If materials are stored there, ensure they are organized. Folders for different subjects are great organizational tools. Weekly desk cleans of contents done by students to: discard, hand in, reorganize and wipe clean will be another tool to help maintain calm.
Desks and Chairs
Student desks and chairs need to be a proper height. Take the time to do a quick visual assessment on each student’s desk and chair. How frustrating it must be if: your legs don’t fit under your desk, your feet don’t even touch the floor, your arms are up by your shoulders when working at your desk. Students who are physically comfortable in your classroom, will be more relaxed and content learners.
Your Desk Area
Keeping yourself organized and your work area organized is a huge accomplishment and is essential in maintaining your sense of calm. Clutter is the enemy; so beware. Take the time at the end of the day or during a break to reorganize your area if chaos or clutter prevails.
The cadence of your voice should exude calm. The faster your rate of speech, the higher the pitch, the more intonation; the less calm will prevail in your classroom. You need to consciously monitor yourself throughout the day; even through some of the darkest or most joyous of times.
Daily reorganization and clean ups done by the students and yourself are essential to maintaining that sense of calm in the classroom. Quick cleanups before lunch, recess or breaks will assist in recreating that sense of calm every time the room is entered by yourself and your students.
Take a Break
If is imperative that you take a moment or two or three to decompress yourself periodically throughout the day. You may feel you are wasting precious time, but the moments taken will help you to keep yourself calm and focused.
Keeping in tune with how you feel on the inside and how you appear on the exterior, will help you maintain and preserve the calm, so essential to a smoothrunnin’ classroom.