An article by Richard James Rogers, author of The Quick Guide to Classroom Management
Wakey, wakey! It’s a bright new morning! Are you feeling ready to seize the day? If you’re like most people (and like me in a former life), then the word ‘zombified’ is probably the best adjective to describe your condition.
Fear not! Help is here. Follow these tips to start your day refreshed and full of life!
#1 Wake up early
Okay. Thanks. Tell me something I don’t know, right? Well, give me few minutes to explain first.
It’s amazing how many people find it hard to get up at a sensible time each morning. One survey even found that more than a third of American adults hit the snooze button at least three times each morning, and more than 50% of people of ages 25 to 34 press the snooze button daily. Do we want to rush around like crazy and gulp down our breakfast in a manic frenzy before we dart to work? Of course not. We know that some extra time in the morning would really help us get things sorted at our pace. Try the following:
- Take baby steps. Most people try to do too much at once, and fail. Take it easy. Aim to wake up five minutes earlier for one week. Then move to ten minutes the next week. Then try fifteen.
- It’s useful to have a reward in place for waking up early. This will motivate you. Maybe you can have the coffee pot ready and hot, or get everything set up in the kitchen the night before so that making a cup of tea is quick and easy.
#2 Do some form of simple exercise
You might be so tired first thing in the morning that the thought of doing some exercise seems worse than boot camp with the S.A.S.
If you really don’t feel like dong any exercise, then have a quick, warm rinse in the shower or splash some warm water on your face. You’ll be amazed at the wakening effect this has on you. After this, you can do some simple morning exercises (and you only need to do a few minutes if you’re a total beginner). Try easy things such a push ups, jogging, stretching, simple yoga or even martial arts routines (there are tons of videos that demo these for you – you don’t even need to be trained by a instructor).
But why? What are the benefits of some morning cardio? Check this out:
- You’ll be more focussed when you reach school
- Endorphins (pleasure inducing hormones) are released into the bloodstream in response to exercise. You’ll feel great!
- If you can make this a regular thing, then you’ll be keeping your heart healthy, reducing stress and keeping your body strong and fit for daily life
- Exercising in the morning makes sense from a time perspective – this is much better than hitting the gym at the end of a long day at work, when you’re weary and you’ve just tried to race through rush-hour traffic
#3 – Hydrate yourself as soon you wake up
You’ve been asleep all night, and your body has not had a drink. As soon as you wake up, drink a big glass of water (and squirt some lemon or lime juice in there too, if you can). The benefits of this practice are very well documented:
- Your metabolism gets boosted. Drinking a large, cool glass of water after you wake up has been shown to fire up your metabolism by an amazing 24% for 90 minutes.
- Your body gets rehydrated. You just slept for 7-8 hours (or, at least, you should have done) without drinking any water! Even if your body isn’t screaming at you that it’s thirsty, it probably is.
- Water helps your body to detox. Getting fluids into your body as soon as you wake up will help your body flush out toxins that have accumulated overnight.
- Your brain becomes activated. When you’re not properly hydrated you can feel drained or experience fatigue or mood variations. Dry brains don’t work well, period.
#4 – Read and reflect on your lesson plans for the day ahead
I learnt the importance of this much later than I should have. It goes without saying – all of your lessons should be planned before you start the teaching day.
Use your morning to either create or, even better, read over the lesson plans you’ve already created for that day. This will prime your mind for what you will expect that day, and you’ll be able to perform better in the classroom because of it. You may also think of some very useful last minute adjustments too!
#5 Develop a morning ritual
As soon as you’ve got the basics in place (waking up early, drinking a glass of water as soon as you get out of bed, doing some form of exercise and going through your planning), you’ll be ready to develop a more advanced morning ritual that meets a variety of your personal needs.
Many of the world’s most famous celebrities, sports people and business titans have developed morning rituals that empower them for the day ahead. You can find some examples of these here.
For tips on how to create your own morning ritual this website is amazing.
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