As an occupational therapist, you play a key role in helping your students to stay healthy and successful throughout the school year. As the next one gets under way, here are some tips:
Help Them Get Organized
Guide and assist students in organizing their learning space, their time and their resources. Consider how each individual child’s tasks and settings will best work together. This applies to their:
- Physical environment: Desks, lockers and backpacks should be kept neat and organized, so students can easily locate assignments, supplies and other items. Less time spent searching means more time spent studying and completing productive work.
- Time management: Planning time for homework, sports, social activities and relaxation helps youngsters to stay focused. In addition, it minimizes stress over fitting everything into a day or a week.
- Eating and sleeping schedules: Adequate rest is essential for students to learn, grow and stay well. It also improves concentration and their general feeling of well-being. The same applies to healthy eating. For starters, every school day should begin with a balanced breakfast.
- Testing skills: If children have trouble completing tests on time, collaborate with their teacher to identify the reason and build their test-taking success skills.
Help Them Make Friends
Observe and study what makes your students happy, including how they can better get to know and understand one another.
- Encourage children to introduce themselves to new classmates.
- Plan projects and assignments where students team up and work together. This usually is more enjoyable for everyone and promotes higher socialization and engagement.
Promote and Practice Ergonomics
Occupational therapy is a science-driven profession, based largely on how the mind and body work together. When physically setting up your students for success, be sure that:
- Their heads are level with their computer monitors. The top of their screen should be at eye level.
- Their forearms are parallel to their keyboard and held only slightly above it.
- Their lower backs are supported.
- Their feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- They take frequent stretch breaks, away from the computer. A good rule of thumb is to take a two-minute break every half hour.
If you need additional tips and resources as you plan for the upcoming school year – or are using summer break to research your next OT career move – contact the experienced team at Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services. We’re school therapists ourselves, and we have the market intelligence and contacts to build your future in the Atlanta market and beyond.