Teaching can be a challenge in any environment, so when you add sweltering heat to the mix, it can turn a great day into a real struggle.
The recent Bank Holiday heatwave has signalled the start of warmer weather, so we thought we’d help you out with our top tips for keeping cool in the classroom.
- Go dark – Turn off unnecessary electricals, including lights, and draw the blinds if you’re lucky enough to have them. Whilst it is lovely to be able to see the sun, those rays will warm up the classroom like a greenhouse.
- Fans facing out – If you’re blessed with fans in the classroom, ensure they are facing out. It’s tempting to have the breeze pointed towards yourself and your pupils, but in reality, keeping the warm air out is more beneficial that moving it through the room. Try putting an ice bottle in front of the fan for an extra cool breeze.
- Get crafty – If you have creative license for the lesson, as can often be the case in supply teaching, why not have pupils make hand fans? They’re super easy to make, and you can theme the lesson in lots of ways around them.
- Stay hydrated – It’s the most obvious thing, yet it’s often overlooked. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugar and caffeine. If you’re in a school where drinks are allowed during lessons, encourage pupils to do the same.
- Seating arrangements – Hot air rises, cool air sinks. Why not try getting the class to sit on the floor, in a circle, and allow temperatures to cool whilst enjoying learning in a more informal environment?
- Cooling points – Putting your wrists under cool running water can help to lower your temperature quicker if you need a quick refresh between lessons.
- Wear thin, loose clothing – Wear natural fibres rather than synthetics, so that your skin can breathe. To cool off, you need that sweat to evaporate as it’s evaporation that gives the cooling effect. Also, wear thin, light coloured clothes. Scientists have found that thin black clothing transmits that heat to the skin, making you hotter.
- Imagination rules – Believe it or not, imagining a cooler climate can really help to tackle how you deal with the heat. Either incorporate a five minute meditation exercise into your lesson, or add nods to the cold throughout. Studying Literature? Try a text with a cold backdrop. Geography? Super easy. Maths? Count ice cubes instead of apples!
- Know the symptoms – Heatstroke is a horrible thing to deal with. Understand the symptoms and make sure you can advise a pupil to seek medical attention before it becomes unmanageable. Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness and weakness are all strong indicators of overheating. And don’t forget – you’re human too! Look out for your own wellbeing as well as your pupils’.
- Keep your cool – If things in the classroom get heated, well, it wont help to cool you down. Remain calm, take a deep breath, and follow our top tips to settle a class for those moments when you need to regain control.
If you’re looking for supply teaching, cover supervisor or teaching assistant roles, PK Education is looking for the best candidates to work in some fantastic schools with great pupils now. Contact your local PK office to find out more https://www.pkeducation.co.uk/contact-us/