I have firstly chosen to focus on mindfulness as a strategy in the classroom which can help improve children’s HWB. Mindfulness focuses on elements such as calmness and breathing techniques, and gives time to think and reflect. I have seen this used in practice before alongside yoga and growth mindsets, and it also seemed very effective for classroom management. Mindfulness gives children the tools to detect when they might feel overwhelmed for example, and so can start to slowly breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. This can even be done throughout teaching time and allows them to take a few moments to calm down and think carefully and mindfully about how they are feeling/ why they are feeling this way. This can promote self-regulation and is a self-soothe method which helps children understand that they are able to control their emotions, and that it is natural and normal to sometimes feel the need to take a breather or a minute out. However, some children might face difficulty with mindfulness as they may still need to be co-regulated and may be unable to recognise when to take part in independent breathing to calm down. Mindfulness can take time to develop in the classroom.
The second strategy I am interested in is generally just having positive relationships with the pupils to support them (also with families, community, other services and colleagues where appropriate). I would of course like to give children that sense of belonging and connectedness, and this can be done by developing positive relationships with the children, and another strategy, ’emotion coaching’. Creating these relationships means that I can have open conversations, give support and ensure the child I am always there for them if they needed me. However, I would not encourage them to become dependent on me, but instead use me as a safe space to share feelings and have them validated. Having positive relationships with colleagues also has an affect on the children if for example I need to seek advice or have a professional discussion about an issue regarding a child. I, or they, may need support too.
Looking into the strategy ‘Emotion Coaching’, this also promotes relationships between pupils and teachers, encouraging self-regulation and nurtured environments. It states as teachers we should recognise unsettled behaviours, validate them, remind the child of boundries, and help them solve the problem. I would of course like to offer this to pupils to ensure they were happy and healthy, and model this behaviour also to promote independent, self-regulation skills.