Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Mood Choices

In Is mood a gift or a skill? From Seth Godin's Blog,  Seth Godin states,

“… we can do things to improve our mood. Morning pages, meditation, exercise, positive thinking, the right audio inputs, who we hang out with, the media we consume–it’s all a choice.”

I want to help my students choose to be in a good mood. When they are in a positive mood, they are more open to learning. They are open to opportunities that will make them more successful in class and in life.

Yet, many students arrive in class with a ton of baggage. They might have had an argument with their family members or friends. Maybe they are having relationship problems. They might be sleepy and cranky because they are not morning people. They may be anxious about class because they don’t feel confident in learning. There are many reasons why a student would be in a bad mood.

I spend a lot of time talking with my students about moods and attitudes. I explain to them that I can understand how they are feeling because many times I feel the same way. I could have the same kinds of arguments they do. I might be worried that the lessons I plan to teach might not go over well. I may be worried that the administration is planning to do a formal observation. I have worries and doubts too.

I explain how I try to overcome that. I tell my students that when I walk into my classroom and see them, it is like seeing sunshine come out on a rainy day. I tell them that just being with them makes me feel better. I try to leave all that emotional baggage out in the hall because I want to be an effective teacher for them. I want to help them be successful and that means a lot to me. I give this kind of talk often and I can see that it makes a difference for me and it makes a difference with them. I am choosing to think positively.

I like to do a short 5-minute meditation exercise if I think the students are too wired to learn. Sometimes this helps them relax and calm down.

Another thing I like to do is play soft music while they are working at their seats on individual work. If the sound bothers them, I let them wear earplugs or headsets/earbuds that aren’t connected to a device. For many, this relaxes them and gets them in a better mood.

If I think many students look sad, withdrawn, or depressed, I might get them out of their seats and do some moving activities. It is hard not to smile when you see everyone (including your teacher) acting silly.

I really think taking time to help students learn how to improve their moods is important. It will help them be more successful in the things they want to do.

How do you help students improve their moods? Please share.

Photo by Katie Drazdauskaite on Unsplash

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