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Holidays and HALTS

I can't imagine two holidays enjoyed more by students of all ages than Halloween and Christmas. I also know many teachers who dread trying to teach during these two events. Especially Halloween.

A special time of silence for those teachers who have to teach the day after Hallowe'en. 🙌

It is the beginning of November and I'm still dealing with sugar-infested minds. It does make for a practical lesson on the effects of sugar on young minds - lots of energy followed by lethargy. It just makes it difficult to teach concepts like division, chemistry or Canadian geography. 🤔

Prior to learning Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT skills, I would have endured these weeks with gritted teeth and many moments of exclamations about how much I hate Halloween.

I'm not saying I love these events in a school year now that I have learned these DBT skills. It is still challenging to manage the emotional and behavioural upheavals that these times bring. Oh, and don't forget full moons. The pain is real. 🌕

The kids haven't changed.
I have.

That's what learning these skills

does. It changes you and how you approach the same stressors that used to send you down a dark path of anger and frustration.

What's different? Well, one of the skills that helps me these days is recognizing my HALTS and those of my students.

I'm sure you're wondering what HALTS are. They totally make sense and the Snickers commercial is a great example of one of them.

H is for Hungry (also Hormones and Hydration).

A is for Angry.

L is for Loss or Lonely.

T is for Tired.

S is for Stressed, Sick, Substances, and too much Screentime.

After Halloween, I'd add too much Sugar! 🍬🍭🍫

Just like the Snickers commercial shows, when you're hungry (or any other of the HALTS) you're not yourself. That goes for you and others around you.

When I am skillful, I find that I use mindfulness to notice my reactions to the actions and behaviours of those around me. I am more empathetic to what they're going through, more aware of their HALTS, and more patient and gracious with them. My actions then create an environment of acceptance and kindness, which in turn opens up opportunities for connection.

What a change from before.

I'm not saying everything is perfect, I am just a much better teacher through it. I'm also a better wife, mother, sister, colleague, get the picture. Generally, a better me!

Skills work.

They change even the hardest, most frustrating times in a classroom or at home..

Sign up for a workshop today so you can enjoy a calmer post-holiday classroom next time they come around.

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