Monday, June 15, 2020

Can Your Students Smell Their Way to a More Successful and Peaceful Year?

The power of smell is so strong that it's made grown men and women weep from awakening fond memories.

I'm raising my hand here.

Think about your childhood. What scents bring you right back to your cherished memories?

Once in a while, we have a sweet, much older nurse substitute in our school. When I walk by the office, I'm instantly flooded with the smell of her compact Cover Girl foundation. I love it! It reminds me of my grandmother. It's the EXACT same smell.  I'd know it anywhere.

So while my colleagues find the smell revolting, it makes my heart burst.

A whiff of coconut ANYTHING instantly brings me back 45 years to summers on the beach.

Vanilla candles? My parents house.

Pine trees? Family camping trips and Christmas tree shopping memories.

Burning wood?  Sitting for hours with my dad in front of the fireplace when I was little.

I want this candle!

We recently opened up a box of old greeting cards from my husband's parents' house.  The overwhelming aroma of his parents house overcame him and he grew misty eyed. A few minutes later, my son came into the room, sniffed the air and said, "I smell grandma in here."

For a brief second, it was if she was still with us.  We felt peace and comfort in a familiar but almost forgotten smell.

What about you?

Years ago a former student visited me after school. As soon as she walked in, she took a deep breath and smiled. "Whenever I smell cinnamon, I think of you and our class. It was so peaceful. They're such good memories."

I used air fresheners back then purposefully to create a lovely warm scent because MY first grade teacher did the same. I wanted to recreate that warm fuzzy feeling with my own students through their sense of smell.


I'm still adding scent to my classroom but there's a difference now.

I use Essential Oils (no chemicals / natural) with the added intention of boosting my students' moods, calming kids down, and helping them focus / achieve more academic success because there are many studies that have proven these connections. 

As teachers, we spend a lot of time making sure our physical environment is best suited to learn so why not make sure the scent in the room is conducive to learning as well?

The stats in the highlighted study above are impressive.  (Google other studies if you'd like.  So many to pick from!)

Why not use this information to boost your students social, emotional as well as academic learning?

For me, it's all part of the total package to creating your thriving classroom community.

In my class, I tend to use THIEVES  or FIGHTING FIVE (same stuff pretty much!) which is a cinnamon smelling oil that is said to boost immunity.

Other oils I use: Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Rose and Lavender (just a little!) after lunch to help sooth and calm kids down, and several blends that "claim" to boost brain power, serenity, focus, etc.

I say "claim" but I believe it. I love this blend as well!

I have no affiliation with Eden's Garden. Just love the products.  Believe in them.

THAT BEING SAID: Before you use oils, ask parents if it's okay. You have to be mindful of allergies, asthma, and any possible breathing or immune conditions.  One year, a para in my room didn't have a good reaction to lavender so I shelved it that year.

(And animals are extra sensitive to Lavender. I wouldn't use at all if I had a class pet.)

Although I haven't used this, a homeschooling friend of mine uses this.

I'd say, based on feedback from parents, at least 40% of my kids used diffusers at home this year.

My favorite diffuser I use at home.  (Going on 4 years.) Timer/changes colors. Pretty!

WHAT NOT TO DO: Don't put ANY oil on a child.  Ever. I was horrified when I read on Instagram about a teacher dabbing LAVENDER on kids' hands each day. EEK. If YOU want to dab on yourself to relax (which I often do) then go for it. BUT never put ANY oil directly on a child.  (And I pointed out to her that a DAB of any citrus-based oil could lead to severe burns at recess.)

Always do your research.

I tend to have Thieves / Fighting Five diffusing BEFORE school and sometimes during.  I believe in the health benefits (I now actually use the cheaper equivalent FIGHTING FIVE by Eden's Garden. Free shipping!), and the other oils above during the day for memory boosting.

Lavender is used after lunch BUT I use very little. Do I think it calms my class down and makes them feel more relaxed?  Yep. Adults who walk in ALWAYS comment on the ZEN feeling they get.

I'd love to know your thoughts and if you use essentials oils in your classroom.

If you like using oils, I urge you to click on this earlier post about a blend you can make for your serious and not so serious skin ailments.

Honestly, bookmark it.

It's a miracle worker!  A life saver!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's chat!