Sometimes it sounds like Mission Impossible to keep calm in a classroom with dozens of noisy kids present. In this blog I will outline some quick strategies using Sensory Modulation in a primary school classroom.
Sensory Modulation is changing how you feel through using your senses.
Take a movement break in the classrrom
Both you and the children in the class can Jump up and down, start jumps, jog on the spot.
Just a couple of minutes of intense exercise can provide a relaxation response through activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This technique has worked for some people for a panic attack. *
Try sitting on a wedge cushion or wobble stool and use this to make small movements. Sit up, drop your shoulders and take some long breaths out. Push your feet into the floor for grounding.
Icy water held over your eyes can invoke the dive reflex and provide calming. Can you take a quick trip to the bathroom and use this technique there? Have a zip lock bag ready, fill it one third with icy water and hold your breath. This technique should not be used if you have a heart condition or anorexia nervosa as it changes the heart rate quickly.
Some teachers are using this strategy with the whole class ad keep the ziplock bags in the fridge for students or teachers to use.
Use several wheat packs or a weighted cushion on your lap (up to 10 per cent of your body weight) This can be a very calming sensation
Low stimulation time
Have a low stimulation and calming time for the entire class. Dim the lights, put on some white noise or calming music and use this time to relax and let go of tension.
I hope that you can try these techniques and try one that will work for you. It can be very useful for children to see someone modelling how to stay calm. So if you have a technique that you can try, talk to the kids about t it and see if they would like to try it to.
If you would like to learn more about these techniques, you could purchase the “Sensory Modulation Resource Manual’ or attend the Brisbane based “Sensory Modulation for Teacher Self Care workshop ‘ in September 2019.