Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A is for Aromatherapy

I know all of you are just like me! You spend all summer (because it's the only time we have to really plan ahead) imagining how you are going to make your classroom--and upcoming school year--perfect. You re-map your classroom for the one millionth time to make sure you are maximizing learning spaces and have achieved a perfect zen. Zen is very important to me as I like to create a safe little world inside my classroom where students can be free to try new things and make mistakes, all the while feeling comfortable and secure. I go to great lengths to achieve this...classical music, cohesive color schemes, visual stimulation without clutter, etc. In the past, I have also used plug-in air fresheners to help create my cozy atmosphere, but I recently had a pair of epiphanies that are causing me to change my ways.

The first epiphany came in a very strange way. I began practicing yoga this year and found it necessary....or a good excuse to....purchase a fashionable yoga mat (with accessories) of my own. Upon receiving my beautiful (and expensive) yoga mat, I found that it was quite slippery. After almost falling on my head a few times, I realized I needed a quick solution to my problem. Sooo...I looked to the only reliable place for information--the internet. Anyway, many of the articles I read recommended using essential oils to clean the mat and make it sticky again. The articles also bragged that these oils would also trigger reactions in the brain that might help relaxation. I went straight to the health food store and picked up the oils. I found that I really enjoyed the aroma. While I am highly susceptible to the placebo effect, I really thought I could notice a change in ability to focus and relax. That's when I thought: I SHOULD USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN THE CLASSROOM!!

The second epiphany was when I remembered a technique of Mrs. Stanford's from
MrsStanfordsClass.
Since my school year ended before Memorial Day, I was excited to have the opportunity to volunteer in my best college friend's classroom before school let out for her students. As the children in her class were working, she walked around with a can of air freshener and told the students to notice the "Smart Spray." The students responded with a deep sniff and, "It's working Mrs. Stanford. I can feel it. Yep, I'm smarter now." GENIUS!! My psychology-minded friend had played a brain trick on her students, and I couldn't understand why I hadn't tried it before! I made a mental note to try this technique in my classroom. As I stood in the health food store overstimulated with essential oils, that memory came flooding back to me! I thought: I SHOULD USE ESSENTIAL OILS AS SMART SPRAY!!

I, of course, went back to the infinite source of information and "googled" aromatherapy in classrooms. I found many, many articles. The following article contains the results of a fairly recent study titled, Aromatherapy in the Classroom. It also explains the oil combination used and their effects. I plan to use aromatherapy this school year, and I can't wait to try it!

....as for my expensive, slippery yoga mat, the essential oils did not help make it more sticky. The real solution turned out to be a $10 yoga mat from Target layered on top of it. Bazinga.

4 comments:

Heidi said...

Such a great idea. Thanks for sharing. I love how students soak up all our little "tricks." I love things that work :)

Heidi
My (Not So) Elementary Life

Jessica Ann Stanford said...

Oooo oooo I want to use a warmer in my room this year! or essential oils with reeds... what do you think!?


Blessings,

Jessica Stanford
Mrs. Stanford's Class
I hope that you'll join me for my giveaway ♥

Katie said...

What a great idea!!! love it!

Katie
Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

Greg said...

I have used a warmer in my 5th grade class. I loved it. I never even thought to use it in my K class. I use the plug ins alot. I think i'll try essential oils now! Thanks for the tip!

I LOVE yoga! I have a $5 mat I got at a flea market!!

Namaste!

Greg
Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten