“What kind of changes have you embraced lately?”
1. I am trying to change my eating habits and eat healthier.
2. I am getting more exercise and working to get 10,000 or more steps at least 4 days a week.
3. I am trying to improve my cooking skills by trying a new recipe each month.
4. I am trying not to stress out if my daily routine is disrupted.
Change is hard for most people. Even though some people like surprises, changes are still hard whether they are planned or unplanned. With change comes the unknown. We never really know how something is going to turn out and what unexpected things may happen as we experience the change. Facing the unknown is scary. While we all like everything to go perfectly and end up happy, there is always a chance that we will hit a snag, obstacle, or things don’t turn out the way we want.
Looking back, I can see that most of the changes in my life have happened to improve my life. Even if, at the time, I felt unhappy or unwilling to change, the change had a positive impact on me. I try to remember this when new changes come about and I feel scared and unhappy. I try to rely on past experiences to help me cope.
Unfortunately my students don’t have this wealth of experience to look back on to help them.
As the end of school approaches, my students start to realize that changes will happen because they won’t have the regular routine of school. Some of my students start acting out or getting depressed. I can see a very noticeable change in many of my students. Some students may be leaving the school system and facing a different kind of daily life. Others will not have the regular routines to help them through the day.
When I see this, I plan on having a serious discussion about change. Here are some of the questions that I ask them to get the conversation rolling.
1. What changes are you facing in the upcoming months? (Talking about them help to make them real and not unknown.)
2. How does this make some people feel? (It is easier to talk about others than ourselves.)
3. Why do people feel this way? (Verbalizing why they might feel this way helps them accept the feelings rather than hide them.)
4. What can people do to help them cope with the changes? (Brainstorming coping mechanisms help facing the unknown.)
5. What back up plans can people have to help them in case they have problems? (Just knowing they have a back up plan can help them cope.)
How do you prepare your students for upcoming changes in their lives? Please share.