A child will spend at least 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in a classroom for the duration of a school year. It is therefore so vitally important that they are happy. I have seen how this one factor can make a considerable difference in their academic performance as well. It brings joy to my heart to see a child happily skipping into class with excitement in their hearts. This is infectious! The opposite is true as well when a child walks into a classroom heavy-hearted, tearful or down in the dumps. Small things can bring about big differences in a child’s life.
At Elkanah House each child is loved, accepted and cared for. It is a place where teachers can live out their passion and constantly strive to improve, develop and grow.
So what makes a classroom happy and healthy?
• Keeping a classroom as clean as possible. Get the children to wash their hands before they eat and after they have visited the toilet. This should become entrenched in their daily routine and should be strictly adhered to.
• Encouraging the drinking of water and promoting healthy food choices. Eight glasses of water is the recommended norm. Staying hydrated helps you to think. Healthy snacking helps to keep the blood sugar level. Giving the children water breaks helps them gather focus for the next academic challenge.
• Ensuring that the children are seated correctly at their tables. The work space should fit the build of the child. It is important to know each individual really well, so that you can place them in the correct position in the classroom.
• Teachers need to look after themselves as well. Mental and physical health is very important. Teachers are a vital tool in determining success. Long after the child has forgotten the concepts or facts, they will however not forget the teacher, what kind of person they were and how they felt in that particular classroom.
• Consistent, fair discipline and presenting lessons that are fun, engaging and challenging.
• Preparation – both teacher and child need to be thoroughly prepared for the day in the classroom. This helps for smooth running throughout the day.
• Being open and flexible to new ideas and to changes in the school day that might crop up.
Let’s live out our school motto by seizing the opportunity to have a happy, healthy experience at school each and every day!
Jill Blackbeard – Deputy Principal