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Wordsunspoken 03-01-2020 10:58 AM

Opportunities for anxious students to engage in the school community
As I work in an elementary age program for students with anxiety, I try to encourage the teachers/schools of the students to have the students participate in calming, leadership opportunities within the school. These type of opportunities allow students to display their strengths, have a calm space free of stressing expectations, and allow them to build their self-esteem. Some of things we propose are:

-School Community Garden: Take part in planting, growing, and maintaining plants. Gardening is a very calming activity and allows the students to build responsibility and learn problem-solving skills. At one of the most inner city schools in the district, they have an amazing gardening program that is run by the students who display aggressive behaviours in the classroom. As they take part in the gardening club, they are able to wok together and build resiliency to any frustration they may face in the moment.

-Food Donations or Hampers: In our program and in many schools, we encourage putting together a hamper for families in need during high stress times of the year (ex: beginning of school year, Christmas, Spring Break). Students are given the opportunity to provide need for others and realize that not everything is for your own gain. It also shows them not to take simple necessities for granted.

-Park/School Ground Clean up: Such an activity allows the students to see that our planet is a shared space and we must work together to protect it. Going for a walk in a local park or around the school grounds and cleaning up the space allows the students to see their role in preserving the environment. When the weather is a little warmer, the teacher can plan this as a regular activity at the end of the week. Moreover, students need to see the purpose of the activity, thus, a school-wide “keeping it clean” initiative wold be most effective as the school works together towards a common goal.

GraceKrispy 03-01-2020 11:59 PM

Welcome to the board (and to PT)! Thanks for these great tips and thoughtful posts! I've peeked at them and look forward to delving in a bit more.

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