Friday, March 13, 2009

Be Easy, Baby

. . . in the immortal but out of context words of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

I often used to conduct item and passage review meetings with groups of teachers. I liked doing it, not only because I like being large and in charge. I also liked traveling to different states and meeting teachers from all over the country (and hearing their accents). I liked talking about test questions and reading test passages. I liked giving the teachers information about assessment, information that would help them in the classroom and for which they were invariably grateful. (I especially liked how teachers, when they are away from the classroom, always behave like students of the age they teach. The primary grade teachers are wide-eyed and very enthusiastic and sweet and need a lot of direction to keep them focused. The upper elementary grade teachers are lively and they talk out of turn and like to take breaks. The middle school teachers are sometimes a little difficult to manage. The high school teachers wear their sunglasses inside and sit toward the back of the room and slump down comfortably in their chairs. )

One of my first such review meetings was in French Lick, Indiana. A couple of hours in, I suggested we take a break, and encouraged the teachers to stand up and stretch and move around to refresh themselves, which suggestion inspired them to tease me about my wacky California-ishness.

It's been years, but now I get to say that I was right. And I do confess that I regrettably harbor a tiny fondness for being right.

P.S. Meditation is also beneficial to students, as is knitting. All three activities change the brain wave patterns:
Clinical studies over the years have shown the effectiveness of interventions on a wide range of medical problems caused or made worse by stress, such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, pain, insomnia, allergies, repetitive stress injury and infertility, among many others. Practicing the relaxation response daily can boost the immune system and make one more resistant to the harmful effects of constant stress.
Good for all of us, but especially at-risk students, who may not have many resources to help them with the stress of surviving in this sometimes hostile world.

No comments:

Post a Comment