February - special days and events to celebrate in the classroom

Special Days and Events for Classroom Celebrations — February – #readilearn

It is during the final weeks of January and the first weeks of February that most teachers and children in the Southern Hemisphere begin their school year. Parents breathe a sigh of relief as the long holidays come to an end and teachers and children look forward to the year ahead with mixed feelings ranging from the excitement of a new adventure to anxiety or even dread. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Children’s Mental Health Week falls in the first week of February.

Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week runs from 3 – 9 February this year. The purpose of the week is to encourage children to look after their bodies and their minds. A positive classroom environment that is both welcoming and supportive helps to ensure children stay happy with healthy mental attitudes. It supports the development of self-esteem, self-confidence and the development of social skills, including getting along with others.

Here at readilearn, we can help you establish a supportive classroom environment and provide you with teaching resources that focus on developing social-emotional skills. While these are appropriate for any time of the year, a special focus during mental health week provides opportunities for reading books and engaging children in activities that are conducive to positive attitudes.

Of special note this year is that many children in Australia may begin the school year distressed by what they have personally experienced or may have seen or heard about the bushfires that have caused so much damage to our country.

While I am unable to give specialised support for dealing with trauma, this article in the Conversation has suggestions to help teachers support students, and includes links to other information. It is pleasing to see that extra funds have been made available to assist teachers and students who have been affected by the fires. If you have been affected and I can support you with a free subscription to readilearn, just let me know.

Resources for a supportive classroom environment

You can find suggestions for establishing a supportive classroom in these previous posts:

Continue reading: Special Days and Events for Classroom Celebrations — February – readilearn

34 thoughts on “Special Days and Events for Classroom Celebrations — February – #readilearn

  1. Erica/Erika

    Norah, I always appreciate the reminder how the school year in the Southern Hemisphere is very different than the Northern Hemisphere. I appreciate how mental health is addressed for all ages. From what I see, children in Canada do get specialized support for dealing with trauma. We are all deeply saddened by the fires in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m so pleased to hear there is good support for children who are dealing with trauma in Canada, Erica. We all need more ways to help each other. The fires in Australia are devastating. And still they continue to burn. Thank you for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Annika Perry

    Norah, it’s good schools are becoming more aware of the importance of the mental well-being of their students and weeks such as this will be a benefit for the teachers and students. Yet, here in the UK, I feel there is a shortfall at times between good intentions and reality, often with conflicting help/lack of help within the system.

    The trauma from the bushfires must be horrendous … it’s tough enough just having seen the terrifying images on television. How to make sense of it all to young ones?!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Annika, I think that shortfall is all over. It is difficult for teachers to be everything to everybody, which is often the expectation. We are only human after all.
      What you’ve said about the bushfires is true, Annika, and now we have the awful coronavirus to contend with.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Read Aloud Day is the 5th (I linked to your article). I’m not sure about World Reading Day. I’ll have to check. But every day should be reading day in my books. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. roughwighting

    Such good thoughts and ideas here, as always. I think it’s fabulous that you all have a Children’s Mental Health week. In so many countries mental health in children is ignored and not addressed. My 11-year-old granddaughter was relating to me how she took a ‘mental health’ day last week from her 6th grade class. She had a scratchy throat, and was exhausted, so her mom allowed her to stay home (alone! the neighbor was on stand by) and my Grand said “Oh, to sleep in until 11, take a long time eating a piece of toast, looking out the window at our birdfeeder, then a hot shower and reading a book. It was such a fun (nothing) day!” We ALL need mental health days! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. petespringerauthor

    Each new year is always full of wonder and excitement for teachers and students alike. I remember not being able to sleep the night before the first day of school. I am glad to see the focus on mental health, especially given the circumstances in Australia. I still remember teaching the day that the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. Parents and children alike were suffering and dealing with all kinds of anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Your book “They Call Me Mom” is full of wonderful advice for teachers, Pete. I’m sure many young teachers (and not-so-young) reap many rewards from reading it. In fact, it may help them sleep a little better.
      What a dreadful thing was 9/11, and how it changed the world. It must have been difficult to calm the children when you probably didn’t feel very calm yourself. I know that even here, so far away, we just stayed glued to the television, watching the replay over and over and over in disbelief. (I wasn’t in the classroom at the time so didn’t experience the effect on children.) I’m sure you would have lots of good advice for others about dealing with trauma. (I haven’t finished reading yet.)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. thecontentedcrafter

    I hope many parents and teachers who fit the criteria will take up your kind offer of a free subscription Norah – the linked post was so full of so many resources for different events, there is a life times work here that is clear to see.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Pauline. I’m delighted to be able to help out other teachers in any way I can. We all spend so much of our time and resources on teaching materials. If I can reduce that a bit for some, I’d be very pleased.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you followed deep into the links, Robin. I agree. The Cloth of Dreams idea is fabulous. What a wonderful way to develop creativity while giving children an opportunity of expressing, and discussing their feelings.

      Like

      Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.