Tips and tricks from past facilitators
- Enthusiasm from staff and the facilitator makes or breaks the Building Wellness session.
- Be engaged, animated and participate in activities with the students.
- Use a dynamic and powerful voice that commands the students’ attention and respect.
- Be prepared – have all supplies and materials on hand.
- Ask probing, open-ended questions to get students thinking. Give them time to think of their answers.
- Quiz the children on last week’s lesson (and even review other lessons). This helps them to retain the information and has been shown to help them on their post-evaluations.
- Having the children warm up with 1-2 minutes of activity (jumping jacks, laps around the room, high knee lifts, etc.) helps them to get their energy out and concentrate better on the task at hand.
- Deep breathing exercises can also be helpful to increase concentration on the topic at hand.
- Setting ground rules at the beginning can be useful. I.e., raise your hands, no talking while I’m talking, etc. These may need to be reviewed before every session.
- A circle of chairs and/or tables works best with the facilitator on the inside. This makes discussion easier and more interactive.
- If the facilitator is not a regular staff member, an introduction from the Teacher/Program Director helps to gain respect from the students.
- Using real-life examples and experiences work well. Statements like “what helped me at your age” are effective.