Integrating Well-Being in Your Classroom: Easy and Quick Activities
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” – Gautama Buddha
Warning: You are not being asked to do one more thing on top of your overflowing plates. What follows are resources for you to use at your own choosing and pace.
We recognize that instructional faculty and our students are living in a time when massive change and stress are at an all-time high. And in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education post, Aisha Ahmad provides a perspective on acceptance and reimagining ourselves during these times of uncertainty – an important reminder of doing what we need now to take care of ourselves for the short and long term.
The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and the Office of Faculty Affairs & Development collaborated to create a list of short well-being activities instructional faculty can use in the classroom. You don’t need to be an expert on the science and application of well-being to support your students. There’s a growing body of research that provides evidence for many of these activities. Here are a few examples:
The Influence of Personal Well-Being on Learning Achievement in University Students Over Time: Mediating or Moderating Effects of Internal and External University Engagement
Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout and Teaching Efficacy
Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density
The following quick and simple activities can help you and your students get focused and centered. We call these “re-wiring activities” – rewiring your brain to optimize learning and engagement. Some instructors facilitate these activities at the beginning of each class session. After coming back from a break would be another good time to incorporate one of these activities. They can be as short as a quick one-word check-in that might take 5-7 minutes depending on class size. You can control the amount to time for each of these.
In our experience, students appreciate the time devoted to de-stressing and being able to get into the present moment. You can mix up and repeat any of these well-being practices. The key is to find the ones that work for you and your students. If you are holding online synchronous classes, you can use the chat feature, call on your students by name, or ask them to use the raise hand feature in your virtual classroom to offer their contributions and reflections.
COLLECTION OF BRIEF RE-WIRING PRACTICES