Raising the Vibrations in Your Classroom to Increase Achievement
If you have clicked through to read this blog post, you may already know about Esther Hicks and Abraham and the Law of Attraction. Or maybe you were just curious about another way to increase student achievement in your classroom.
Here is a quick summary of Esther HIck's Law of Attraction... Although, she would probably say it is the Universe's Law of Attraction as told to her by Source, aka Abraham. This does get a little crazy but stick with me.
The Law of Attraction is the idea that what you think about, you get. You may be thinking, Well, I've been thinking about winning the lottery for years, and that hasn't happened yet! That's true. It takes more than just wanting something to get it. First, you have to believe that you can have what you want. How many people, when buying a lottery ticket, truly believe that they will win?
Second, and more importantly, what you want needs to match up with your true self. Your true self is who you want to be and what you want to create. Winning the lottery, while fun and exciting, may not necessarily match up with your true self.
The way we attract things in life is through our vibrations. High vibrations match our true selves and low vibrations do not. Most people are not aware of their vibrations at all, so they are not controlling them. As a result, their vibrations are reacting to the environment. This means that they are unconsciously attracting things they do not want.
The good news is that we each have a monitoring system already built in. It is our emotions. When you feel good, your vibrations are high. When you feel bad, your vibrations are low. Even better, when we feel bad, we can use our thoughts to change our emotions and thereby change our vibrations.
Changing our vibrations changes what we attract to ourselves.
Hopefully, even if you are skeptical, you have made it this far because now I am going to explain how you can use these ideas in your classroom. (Without talking about vibrations or anything crazy.)
We already know that students can't learn when they are stressed. Brain science tells us that:
1. A child can only concentrate on 3 - 5 pieces of information at a time (including emotions).
2. Emotion always trumps information.
What does this mean? A stressed child simply doesn't have room in their brains to learn. Best case scenario, they sit quietly and don't distract others (but don't learn.) Worst case scenario, they are up bothering others (and still not learning).
So, if you want to increase achievement in your classroom, you need to help your students feel good before they learn. In other words, you need to help them raise their vibrations.
How can you help kids feel good?
First, if a child is feeling bad, she won't be able to immediately switch to feeling good. Think of the child as a car. She is speeding down the highway in one direction - towards Angry City. No matter how great your activity, you will not be able to change the direction of the car while it is traveling at full speed. The car needs to slow down, stop, and turn around.
If the child is too upset to talk, have her do a calm activity that she chooses to calm down. Coloring, a puzzle, reading, Legos, or playing with small toys are great options, even for older kids who need space.
Once the child is calm, it is time to talk. Give the child a chance to share how she is feeling. She might choose to explain why she is feeling a certain way, but even if she doesn't, just being aware of our feelings makes them easier to manage.
Now it is time to help the child feel a little bit better. Don't try to make a huge jump. It will be too difficult, and the child will fail, making her feel even worse. So, instead, work in small steps. Ask the child about what makes them happy. Let the child talk for as long as she chooses. Chances are, you will see in her face that she is starting to feel better. It will be an even more powerful exercise if you write down what she is sharing. No need to be fancy, just make a list that she can use to remember all the things that make her happy when she starts to feel down.
You are probably thinking, I do not have time for this in my classroom! I would argue that you don't have time not to do it. Plus, this isn't an exercise you will have to do with every student every day. This is only for students who need help turning their emotions around.
Once a student is driving along the Good Feelings Highway, it is much easier to help them increase their good feelings.
Gratitude or appreciation are wonderful feelings that are so easily encouraged. Students can spend just a few minutes drawing or writing about one thing (or many things) that makes them feel grateful. This activity will make them feel good. Before ending the assignment, ask each child to notice how they are feeling. Remind them to check in on how they are feeling throughout the day. If they don't feel good, they can remember how they are feeling right now to feel better.
Another way to improve emotion is to imagine. Our imaginations are so powerful, we can be anywhere and do anything. Plus, our brains can't tell the difference between actually doing something and imagining it. That is why top athletes spend time visualizing as part of their practice regimen.
Visualizing is best used when kids are pretty happy. Have kids build a world for themselves. Kind of like Minecraft. It can be anywhere with anything in it, but they should take time to imagine all of the details. They can walk around and explore their worlds, but they should only stay in the world for a few minutes. Anytime they need a break throughout the day, they can pop into their worlds to feel good.
Doing these activities with your students will make them feel good. Feeling good frees up space in their brains, so they have more room to learn. As a result, they will have more success at school. This will lead them to be happier at school. This will make it even easier to learn. If is a feedback loop that will change your classroom.
Finally, there is one person in your classroom who will set the emotional tone of the classroom. It's you, the teacher. Kids are little magnets, they suck up however the adults around them are feeling and internalize it. So, don't forget to take care of yourself. It won't matter if all of the papers on your desk are graded if it turns you into a stressball. Do what you need to do to help you feel balanced, happy, and excited to learn with your students.
So, what do you do to help your students manage their emotions? What do you do to manage your emotions? Share in the comments below!