HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - There’s a new feature in Helena Elementary designed to help teach students deal with different emotions in the classroom.
It’s called a sensory path.
If students get overwhelmed, the teacher doesn’t have to stop what they are doing and take up class time to keep telling the student to calm down. Now the teacher will ask that student to simply walk out of the classroom and into the hallway. They can take one minute and 30 seconds to do the sensory path. The student then goes back into the classroom ready to focus and finish their work.
Each picture directs a movement and every step, jump and motion serves a purpose. Aimee Hackney is the Special Education teacher and helped design what the path would look like and what each line or picture means.
“When I was creating the steps for the path I talk to a local therapist to kind of help me realize where the kids felt the most pressure build up when they just really really needed a break,” she explains.
All the different movements increases focus and lets out energy. Jeff Norris, principal at Helena Elementary, says it also grows different coping skills to deal with anger or sadness.
“A lot of times it can be overwhelming to process their emotions and so this is a great avenues for kids to let out steam so they can focus and concentrate," says Norris.