Turn off the lights during SEL activities
When I started teaching, Teach Like a Champion was my go-to book for classroom management tips. I loved how simple techniques could have a profound impact on the dynamic in my classes. Have a class that always seems to get off on the wrong foot? Greet students at the threshold of the room. This small action--standing right next to the door as students walked in--helped me set the tone for the entire class and reduced the odds that the class got off to a poor start.
Similarly, a simple flick of the light switch during social & emotional learning activities tells students that these activities offer a moment of pause from traditional academics. Turning off the lights when your class participates in an ASSET tool, like Finger Breathing, sharpens the lines between mental health time and core academic time, which can encourage skeptical students to try a new SEL activity.
Check out Teach Like a Champion’s blog for more details about threshold and to learn other helpful classroom management techniques.
About the Author
Brent Modak followed the example set by his grandfather and entered the classroom first as a middle school teacher before moving up to teach high school history. As a member of the ASSET team, Brent helped develop the curriculum and led in the implementation of the program across all of ASSET’s partner schools. When not teaching Brent enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and newborn baby, Lewis.