Community stories and testimonials
Anxious About Class Allocations
Following the announcement of class allocations for the year, a student learned they were being separated from their best friend, causing severe anxiety, to a point of getting physical hives. The Principal was able to reassure the parent that Switch4Schools was being used to help the student develop strategies for managing their anxiety while their class teacher monitors their emotional check-in data to ensure the strategies are helping.
Homeschooling has been a stressful transition for a lot of classes, but for Claire (grade 6 teacher) she has found the Switch4Schools program has made it so much easier to check in on the student’s health and well being from such a significant distance. The students had reported they missed being able to check in when not at school, so now being able to check in from home has been great.
We all know the students can get a bit rowdy after lunch. A grade 6 teacher uses the check in process to calm the room and assess if there has been an issue during the lunch break in the playground. As the students then undertake a quiet activity she follows up with flagged students to make sure they are okay.
Creating a Communication Bridge
Shelly reports that the students in her 2/3 class absolutely love the check-in each morning. They use the one iPad and even has one student who double checks that everyone has signed in so that class time is not interrupted. During their morning routine, she will have a quick look to see where the students are at and if there is anyone that she needs to have a quick chat to. Sometimes she may not get to a student straight away, but she lets them know that she noticed how they were feeling and will check in with them as soon as she can. She reports to have learned a lot about her students and their emotions through the app but especially in the check-in conversations. She has found the app such a good bridge for communication and for students to identify what is going on for them that day, reflecting that without it, a lot of children would not have the ability or confidence to do this.
Daily Mindfulness Activity
For the students in one of the year 5 classes in Canberra who had been in lock down for some time, the switches became a much needed break from the norm. The teacher set a daily switch challenge for the students each day, in addition to their usual curriculum. Once the activity was completed the students took a photo of the completed activity and shared it in their online group chat channel. The teacher commented that this was homework she actually enjoyed marking!
Miranda (teacher of a grade 5/6 class) likes to use her iPad to facilitate the check in process each morning. Each table group takes turns to come to the front of the room to check in, giving her the opportunity to connect with them while also marking off the roll. While this is happening the remaining class members write or draw in their journal (a standard exercise book) reflecting on the previous day. She gave some thought starters to get them going but now they are self motivated. The students have the option to share their journal with her, which some have opted to do. She has found this to be a really effective way to settle the class to begin learning for the day.
Self Regulating Routines
Suzie (grade 2 teacher) has had great success supporting her students to learn to self regulate their emotions by leveraging the Switch4Schools program. One of her students is now able to indicate to her that they are feeling triggered and need to sit on the carpet for a moment to practice the Box Breathing Switch to lower the intensity of the emotion they are feeling and put them back into a mindset ready to learn. The other students accept that this is “normal” and the student is given the time and space they need to manage their emotions. The student is no longer disrupting the class, and is building some awesome SEL life skills.
Finding Another Way
A Guidance Officer at a regional Queensland school has taken advantage of the printable quick reference guide to support her students. Having printed and laminated the guide, she has been able to use this document to talk to her students that were self-harming to help them find alternate strategies they could use.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
This is great! Switch4Schools puts all the mental health tools kids and teachers need in one, practical and easy to use place.
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL, QUEENSLAND STATE SCHOOL