Bringing in the ‘chill’ factor in this high heat!
Schools in summers may not always be the most comfortable places to be. Sweltering heat can be a serious impediment to the joy of learning. Research says that heat is one of the key factors in lowering student interest and performance.
This got me thinking about what teachers can do to beat the heat in their classrooms? Here are my tips for teachers this summertime to beat the ‘Summerasura’.
Revamp your style quotient with summer friendly fabrics and styles.
Invest in armpit sweat pads, talcum and comfortable footwear, and stay clear from perfumes and deodorants that leave a strong smell. You don’t want your learners to cough or gag.
Advise your students to air out and wash their uniforms every day, wear cotton socks and carry caps and umbrellas in their bags.
For instant cooling, run water over your wrists or place a damp cloth on your neck.
Adam’s ale was H2O
Carry metal or mitti water bottles and lunch boxes. Ensure you carry enough refills.
Plastics are bad: For the environment and you
Avoid caffeinated, aerated and packaged drinks and replace them with ‘infused water’ with oranges, lemons and mint. Juices may provide temporary relief but do little to replenish us in the long run.
Time to ‘Boond’
Incorporate a ‘water bell’ into your school or class timetable. Regularly announced water breaks will ensure adequate fluid intake for all. This could also be a great time to ‘bond over drinks’ and discuss ways to save every drop.
Join the Fan Club
Making paper fans can be turned into a fun quiz game. Anyone who answers correctly gets to fold their paper once, the more correct answers you give, the closer you get to owning and using your personal breeze machine.
- Potted plants are a great way to introduce shade
- Get rid of excess furniture to create cool open-spaces.
- Turn-off excess electronics to reduce heat generation
If Marie Kon-do, so can you. Get rid of unnecessary furniture and stationery to redecorate the classroom. Classroom décor themes can bring in the sun, go under the sea or explore the power of flowers. It is easy to create areas of shade in the classroom by having your learners adopt potted plants as pets.
The ‘fan club’ can choose to hang khus/vetiver screen curtains on the classroom doors and windows as an environment-friendly solution for cooling the classroom. The earthy aroma of khus is known for its calming effects that boosts learning.
You could also plan floor seating with footwear left outside, remember hot air rises up and what better than a guru-cool classroom arrangement.
Save electricity and reduce heat emission by turning off computers, televisions, smart boards or other heat generating devices that are not being used.
Draw or build a classroom thermometer to gauge how many have completed home assignments. Customized markings on the thermometer like in traffic lights can be used to test previous knowledge and give feedback on behaviour.
Guided visualization and meditation techniques for regulating body temperature are my go-to activities after high energy sessions.
Have your learners find a comfortable space in the room to lie down or sit down individually or even back to back with a partner. Once they close their eyes take them on an imaginary journey using music (optional) and your soothing voice.
You can ask them to imagine that they are flying, walking, dancing or sailing to their favourite cool place. You can add instructions like ‘invite your favourite person to join you here’, ‘feel the water drop or snow on your face or palm’. Once you feel the energy in the room is cool/calm enough, have them open their eyes and share what they experienced with their classmates in pairs or groups.
Don’t dread the ‘HOTS’, embrace it!
All these activities will help you stay cool and prevent things from getting ‘too heated up’ in the classroom. Don’t compromise on your lesson plans and help your students stay on track with what is planned for the term, while taking the heat in your stride.
We are sure these tips for teachers for the summertime will be super helpful for you all. Read another article by Kritika here Tips for Teachers to Use Theatre Skills in Their Classrooms.
Summerasura– A portmanteau word that is formed by combining two different terms to create a new entity. Here it is summer and asura or demon.
Adam’s Ale– is a colloquial allusion meaning water. It alludes to the idea that the biblical Adam had only water to drink.
Boond– a Hindi word for drop
HOTS– Higher order thinking skills as defined in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of educational objectives.
Marie Kon-do– A reference to Marie Kondo and her KonMari method of simplifying and organizing a space by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy.
Khus/ Vetiver– aromatic fibrous roots called Chrysopogon zizanioides belonging to family Poaceae (grass family).