Rest TimeAug 29, 2023
The portion of the school day when children rest, is important for teachers and students. It gives children who are at school all day, a chance to reset and prepare for the second half of the day. Rest time is often when teachers get to take their break and use the time in a way they choose. There are many circumstances that can determine how relaxing rest time actually is, many of which teachers have no control over, such as when and where it occurs. However, there are still options available to enhance this critical portion of the day. Here are a few questions to get the ideas flowing:
Physical comfort - Will you allow blankets, pillows, and/or loveys? How can you make the procedure for storing and cleaning them run smoothly and easily? What will children lay down on? Do they have the option to sit up? Is there a way to ease the transition with stretching or yoga? What do their bodies need to help them settle down?
Entertainment - Will there be music playing? What type of music will you play? Classical? Piano? Would reading a chapter book to them give them something to help focus their minds? Will you use the time to practice listening comprehension? Would a guided meditation help ease them into a quiet time? Can students bring a picture book to their rest space? If so, can they get up to choose another book when the first one is finished?
Atmosphere - How dim can you make the space? Can you rig up curtains to cover windows? Is the space warm or cool enough? Can you add fans? Can you move students away from cold vents? Can the thermostat be set to an ideal temperature for this part of the day? Will there be background noise? Can you play nature sounds?
Keep in mind that group rest time is vastly different from a child’s quiet time at home. Try to step inside their experience to identify their needs or ask them directly. Chances are, students will have different preferences and you might have to switch things up from day to day. For example, if one student enjoys listening to chapter books and another student gravitates towards silence, you could read every other day. Students will have opinions about whether music should be playing, what type of music they want to hear, and other more surprising matters.
Getting rest time perfect, right from the start is not required and highly improbable. Even if last year’s rest time was smooth sailing, this group of kids could throw it through the wringer. Experiment and find out what works best for you and this one of a kind assemblage of young people. It will be worth the effort.