remember many little wounded hearts during my early years of teaching. “Teacher, the girls won’t let me play with them.” “He is being mean to me.” “No one wants to play with me.” There were always streams of tears and sometimes inconsolable sobbing during these hurtful exchanges. After making sure the emotionally wounded student was physically okay, I would send them to drink water and instruct them to return to me when they had finished. Almost 99% of the time, the student had stopped crying and was able to talk with me in a better frame of mind. After asking a few questions, they were soon ready to return to what they were doing. This calming effect I termed the “water trick”.
Our bodies cannot survive without water. 60-70% of our body is made up of water, and, without water, our brains could not function. However, during my early teaching years, I didn’t understand the connection between water and our emotions. Several years ago, I read an article that focused on the importance of drinking water. I paused and re-read a section that mentioned that water helps the body heal from emotional stressors by flushing cortisol (a stress hormone) from the body. How about that? My water trick is backed by science! Keeping the body hydrated can keep the nerves at bay.
The scriptures refer to water many times. In John 4:14, it says, But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Water has natural calming properties that are great anxiety quenchers, but, more importantly, Jesus can give us living water that quenches our thirst and fulfills us completely! As you prepare for the 2022/2023 school year, begin to pray for your incoming students’ mental health. One last thing, you might want to include on your student’s back-to-school list a sturdy water bottle.
Evelyn Sullivan, M.Ed.
Director of Early Childhood Education and R.E.A.C.H.
Evelyn Sullivan is the Director of Early Childhood Education for North American Division. She spent many years teaching young children to love to learn. She has combined her passion for teaching and administration to promote the importance of early childhood education.
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