The Generation Text Framework provides strategies and techniques that promote the activation of each of these four chemicals in the bodies of our students, enabling them to succeed to the best of their academic ability and guiding them how they become successful members of their school community and their world.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass along signals from one neuron to the next and neurotransmitters play a key role in the function of the central nervous system. Endorphins are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially stress, fear or pain. They interact mainly with receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion.
Endorphins interact with human brain cells and they can give “a rush” when activated.
What strategies can educators use to assure our students can produce endorphins in the interest of aiding in academic achievement?
- Encourage students to walk to school
- Develop an intramural program before school
- Allow students to do an errand in the building or deliver something to the main office.
- Take your class outside or to the gym for your lesson.
- Have students get out of their seats and do a quick callisthenic session.
- Do NOT take away recess from a student
- Do NOT take away gym from a student
- Play a funny video (America’s Funniest Videos)
- Play the name game (Module One)
- Develop a game out of the material you are teaching that will allow for some competition and fun!
Listen to music
- Play music in your classroom (music that makes you feel joyful, increases endorphins)
- Allow students to bring in or make an instrument (Middle and High School like to beatbox)
- Dance (There are several popular dances that kids do to particular songs. Ask your students what they are. One of the teachers I coached in the inner city would play “The Whip” or “Hit Dem Folks” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVYE88RMd4E )
- Sing (Play a youtube video that displays the words of a song your students like and let them sing.)
- Afternoons are typically a challenging time for teaching and learning. Pick a song that your students like and makes them happy. Play it every day as they walk into the room. Soon you will have students singing and releasing endorphins to prepare themselves for afternoon learning. (This was a strategy that was very effective with one of the teachers I coached in Newark, NJ. The song that we played was one that had a hidden message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkmMzKIFNyo It wasn’t uncommon to hear students walking around singing this song to themselves and even creating new parts to sing along.)
What about administrators, classroom teachers and school staff?
- Challenge your staff to take a walk during their lunch time every day. The endorphins will be produced and staff will be more effective teachers in their afternoon sessions!