What stress releasing and fun activities can you develop!

So what do you do to unwind??????

I really want to know!!!! It may give others great ideas none of us have thought of!

Warning!!!

This post will be filled with loads of photos as I think it may be the best way to show you the things you could do to unwind!

They will include things to do as a single, married and family. Hopefully something that is in your budget will catch your eye!

The first thing you will notice is there are some quiet types of thingsfirst! This wasn’t intentional, but is what I’m more likely to do.

Journaling JOURNALING! Often recommended when there’s noone to talk to! (healthfitnessevolution.com)57581a7b-b99c-4f93-a88d-593537a606c8-11217-000010afa06b8a70

READING FOR RELAXATION! I enjoy a good murder mystery when I feel stressed. (mensdailylife.com)

Who doesn’t like a good dose of chocolate? (Actually I know a couple of people who don’t!) GOING TO PLACES LIKE THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Flickr.com)

COFFEE WITH FRIENDS! Relaxing with friends over a coffee is one of my favourite things to do. Just sitting and chatting about nothing in particular and hopefully having a good laugh as well. (depositphotos)

DRINKS AND ENTERTAINMENT!  A great combination  for unwinding. (timeout.com) EXERCISE AND PEACEFULNESS! A great combination for those who love to stay fit. (pxhere.com)

FITNESS CLASS! They look like they’re enjoying themselves. And it’s a great way to get rid of frustrations. (123rf.com)

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BIKE RIDING! This could be fun either with the soothing sounds of the sea or the countryside with its greenery and sounds of the bird. (freestockphotos.biz)

RUNNING! Either by yourself or with others. I used to get angry kids to run around the basketball courts to get rid of their ‘Angry Energy’. Seem to work! (food.unl.edu) HOW ABOUT FENCING! Looks fun, especially with light sabres. (fullcircleproject.org.uk)7fab7808-5802-4116-96ac-cdbc36d0ad08-17067-00001941fc282e93 BOXING! Often recommended for frustration and anger, take it out on the punching bag instead of a person.

(examinedexistence.com)7e5b39a4-c870-41bd-8f49-903f0b7d1502-17067-00001940ed54bf1e BOARD GAMES Personally, not my thing, but im sure people love this type of thing. (thepinsta.com)” 5d10f237-19b0-4662-8375-5486a5764d04-17067-0000193e195efe8b COOKING! My husband used to know when I’d had a bad day at work. there would be a huge, elaborate meal waiting for him. Relaxes me no end! (self.com)34d5ed0c-66cb-4f73-b4b6-3d88e35c31c7-17067-0000193d69e912be GARDENING! I used to go to my mother’s place and yank out the weeds to help with frustration. However, I know many who find gardening very relaxing. (123rf.com)

fe66916b-a981-4931-adf5-4965d224f32a-17067-00001939bec5a1cbYOGA/MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS!I find this quite difficult as I seem to have ADHD of the mind lol. But I know others who really benefit from this.(everydayhealth.com)

 A FAMILY SOCCER OR FOOTBALL GAME! If there’s no kids get a group of friends together at the park. (featurepics.com)

1f5949b1-991c-4d40-b3e0-11d477db4d0c-17067-00001937a9c45ec7 PICNIC! With family or friends. (vancoolver.com)

This was my favourite! COFFEE BY MYSELF! It helped me just drift mentally and daydream or sort through my thoughts of things at work. (Yes I’m an introvert!) (creativemarket.com)

So I hope I’ve given you some good ideas here!

But, don’t forget to look after yourself on a daily basis as well.

I’ll talk about daily ‘self care’ at another time.

(I apologise if the words are in odd places. seems to depend which device you read it on.)

Bye for now all!

More Ideas on Support for Teaching Assistants

Organisations

Counselling Services with Department of Education

Here in South Australia the education department offers free counselling for employees. This counselling can be for work or personal issues. I would recommend it if you’re feeling like you need support. It would be completely confidential!

Having said that I have never used them! I never even thought of them as an option unfortunately. However a friend of mine used them last year and said they helped her a lot!

This Way Up

This is an Australian organisation which offers courses via the internet. http://www.thiswayup.org.au

They offer courses such as: Coping with Stress and Introduction to Mindfulness.

Other sites to check out include:

Hopefully those in other countries can find similar to these!

When I was in this line of work I’d only heard of Beyond Blue, and I did use some of their materials to help myself cope at times.

When talking about ‘mental health ‘ please don’t think you might have a mental illness. Mental health is about your physical, mental and emotional reactions to life.

Friends and Family

There are a few different places and types of people who can help with this!

My main support person was a close friend who had also worked with me in out of school hours care. She was fantastic as she appreciated the difficulty of working with these students but understood the privacy aspect as well.

You may have a person in your life who you used to work with who can be a sounding board for you. As I’ve said I’m now retired, however, I have a friend still working in this field and we meet about once a month for our friendly catch up but also she’ll chat to me about work when something is bothering her. (And it’s not always the students we talk about).

So who else can we look to?

  • Supportive friends – these friends may not be able to fully comprehend exactly what you’re on about but if you just need an ear they are happy to listen.
  • Your spouse – again perhaps not able to fully comprehend but understands the need for you to talk about it.
  • Siblings – this one I was lucky with as she had been director of out of school hours care for years before I beg
  • an this work. This m
    eant she had a great understanding of  the students I worked with.
  • Adult children – again very lucky as my daughter worked with students with behaviour concerns as well. Although this was later in my years of this work.
  • Support Person – this can be someone at school as we’ve talked about before or someone you have chosen to be a mentor/coach from outside the school. (Remembering, these sessions would all be confidential).

I’m hoping this has helped you think of people who you can talk to when you need someone.

Next time I’ll talk about what to do for yourself to help you switch off and relax! 

 

Support for Teaching Assistants working with Behaviour Concerns

I feel it is time to talk about you for awhile! We will go back to the students later.

So Who Supports You?

Have you got support systems in place?

Do you have someone who you can go to when you’re frustration levels are high or you want to talk about concerns you have?

LET’S START BY TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO COULD SUPPORT YOU!!

At School

LEADERSHIP

The most obvious person would be your line manager! This may be the Deputy Principal or perhaps a higher ranking TA. There are times, however, this person is may be too busy or you feel anxious about going to them for fear of being judged as not coping. Then who do you look too.

CO-WORKERS

This includes both other TAs and teachers. It can be difficult to do this during school time, especially if you are on shadowing duty at recess and lunch. Unfortunately, this means you may need to use your own time after school to sit and have a cuppa to chat or join the teacher in their classroom as they tidy at the end of the day. This was when I used to catch up!

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STAFF

By this I mean the departmental staff who deal with disabilities and at times visit the school. It can be difficult to talk to these people if your line manager does not see the advantages of this. I used to try and catch them in the school corridors. I would introduce myself, if they didn’t know me, and let them know the student I worked with. It is very important to have your questions ready for them when you speak to them! These staff are usually thrilled that you are interested enough in the student to ask questions.

GOALS WITH STUDENTS

At first sight this may not seem like a way to support you.

However, it very much is! Too often we are given ‘airy fairy’ goals. You need to ask for very specific goals as to what you are expected to achieve with each student. I remember one student where it was obvious I was having them to give the teacher a break. Apart from that there was little else. We spent the time on whatever I could find to do. This girl is my third daughter and she has ended up with little education, I’m guessing because this happened her whole schooling, and now she is having trouble getting ahead as far as tertiary study or employment.

My regret is I wasn’t more assertive to ask for specific goals for her!

STUDENTS FILES

(crunch flow)

I found these invaluable! It was interesting reading previous teacher’s reports and ‘reading between the lines’ sometimes about what they were saying.

You may be able to get access to the files directly or you could ask the teacher get the file for you to let you have a read.

I’m going to leave it there for this week!

I’d love you to let me know if this has been of any help or given any new insights for you!

Until next week it’s bye for now!

Behaviours You May Face

 

  1. Tantrums
  2. Sulking
  3. Running Away
  4. Fighting.
  5. Hurting Others – both students and staff
  6. Hiding under desks(Vector toons)
  7. Knocking over furniture
  8. Oppositional – refusal to do what asked
  9. Climbing trees
  10. Climbing on roof
  11. Screaming
  12. Hand over ears
  13. Can be compliant one day and oppositional the next
  14. Anger

 

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With all these behaviours going on it can be very difficult for you and teachers to cope! 

THE BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER IS:

KEEP CALM AT ALL TIMES!!!!garfield-1

Easier said than done I know! However, if you show your emotions are running high it makes their meltdown worse! Yes, I said meltdown not tantrum, there is a difference!

My emotions could be running crazy but I learnt not to show it. After all grown ups are always suppose to be okay as far as children are concerned!

I’m really dismayed when I hear stories of leadership yelling at students to do the right thing when they are in full meltdown mode! This only makes them feel worse as they feel they are being traumatised.

Later I will discuss the difference between the meltdown and tantrums.

 

 

 

The Students

Let’s begin talking about the students you may be working with!

I have a theory about them. Whether they have a diagnosis or not they are suffering from trauma! Yes, every one of them has a form of trauma!

It can be from extreme circumstances, as in knowing your father drowned your baby sibling (yes, I have worked with a student, who was aged eight and knew this), to what seems mild to us, as in knowing they are different when suffering from ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome.

Peter A. Levine (Ph.d) writes in his book ‘Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes’, something as simple as falling off their bike can create a trauma in some children,’affecting them for years to come’. Levine believes the trauma can sometimes be traced back to a difficult birth.

When I said some students are traumatised by knowing they are different this is often because of bullying! (123RF Stock Photos)

And while on the subject of bullying, many students, whether they have a diagnosis or not, carry the scars of bullying, and so feel traumatised. An example of this is a child I met recently who while in Year 3 began rapidly putting on weight. This brought about bullying from other students! The students who did this were dealt with very well by the school, however the one being bullied has been displaying violent behaviour ever since, when at school. Is this child traumatised by the experience? In my opinion, yes!vector illustrations

(Vector Illustration)

With all this talk of students being traumatised please remember it’s not your job to find what has caused the trauma. However, it may help you empathise in those times they are driving you crazy!!!

An article I found interesting reading on this subject was from Greater Good Magazine, called ‘How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom’ (October 23rd, 2013).

I especially liked point 5! Take care of yourself!!!!’ 

I’m hoping this may give you some insight into the students you work with!

Next time I will go into the behaviours and diagnoses the students may have.