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Using Plants to Encourage Taking Good Care

Black and white plants on blue background by Iveta Vaicule

Layers of stress, trauma, and grief continue to impact people individually and collectively as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As a leader you may be wondering how to tend to your people as well as students in meaningful ways. In this blog post, Ms. Jen explains one idea for using images of plants to encourage taking good care. Try it in one of a variety of ways with educators or students.

Recently, I felt delighted to share one of my community building activities with Equity Unbound for inclusion on the OneHE website. It’s called Choose your Plant. The activity is a way to help older elementary students, adolescents, and adults share how they’re doing within their learning community. Students or adults choose an image of a plant or create their own that goes with their personal feelings and needs. Next, leaders invite participants to share as little or as much as they want to about their plant. Afterwards, a discussion can focus on learnings as well as ideas about how to help meet one another’s needs so that everyone can grow and thrive together. Check out the activity over on the OneHE website by using the link above. Try it face-to-face or online! I’d love to know how it goes for you.

Variations to Consider

  • For teachers: Consider using plants to encourage taking good care as a teacher in your classroom with students.
  • For school leaders: Try the activity as a leader when working with other educators.
  • When face-to-face learning: Consider cutting out images of plants from photos or magazines so that participants have many options to choose from.
  • When distance learning: Create a shared folder or Google doc. where individuals can contribute images that everyone can choose from.
  • To extend the activity: Pair a writing or journaling assignment with the activity that fits students’ needs.
  • To support those who may need more: Encourage folks to consider continuing a personal conversation with a trusted friend, loved one, or professional like a counselor or faith leader.
  • Alternative idea: Instead of inviting people to choose an image that goes with how they are doing now, consider asking them to choose an image they’re drawn to. Then, focus the discussion on what steps they could take to make progress toward their goal.

Above all, keep doing your best and know that support for you as a trauma-sensitive educator is available in relation to stress, grief, and educator self-care. Learn more below!

To Learn More…

  1. Check out an earlier blog post to learn how to teach Dr. Daniel Siegel’s Hand on Heart and Belly technique for big feelings that may go with grief and loss as well as stress.
  2. Also, consider signing up for one of my upcoming self-care seminars for educators. Learn more on my events page. I can bring this learning to your organization either face-to-face or online too. Schedule a free consultation with me to learn more.
  3. Check out my affirmation cards that can help you and other adults take good care during stressful times. They’re available in Ms. Jen’s Shop.

Take good care,

Ms Jen welcome message

#BuildingTraumaSensitiveSchools #HelpingYouHelpKids #WhenGriefComesToSchool #TakeGoodCare