Teachers need to prioritize self-awareness, if they expect self-regulation.
- Carla Tantillo, Founder of Mindful Practices
Q "How can I get my students mentally ready before an important test or quiz? Some kids are super high energy the minutes before a test and others are lethargic and sad. Any ideas?" - Katie, G. 4th Grade Teacher
A As a former educator, I feel it is important to level the playing field energetically before an exam. High school or middle school students may want those last few minutes to "cram," but take a deliberate moment before the test begins to help students relax and focus.
Pass out your exams face down on the desk. Before the students begin the test, have them place both feet flat on the floor and slowly roll their shoulders back 3 times. (Hands should be folded on their desks.) Instruct the students to sit up straight and tall with their eyes closed and their breathing soft.
Guide the students to recall one action from that week which makes them feel proud. You may need to give gentle suggestions like helping a younger sister/brother, assisting a teammate or being honest in a difficult situation. If possible, try to suggest 'non-academic' feel good items, as we want to keep all performance anxiety at bay.
Instruct the students to take 8 quiet breaths inhaling and exhaling a feeling of self-satisfaction and pride. Eyes remain closed.
Once the activity is complete, softly announce to the students it is time to flip over their tests and begin.
- Question Answered By: Carla Tantillo, founder of Mindful Practices