7 Tips to Effectively Teach Students Disaster Preparedness
Unexpected disasters can leave unprepared students in a state of shock and cause more risk for everyone present. Teaching students how to deal with disasters can be a huge step towards improving their safety and increasing their preparedness in such situations. Knowing how to act safely is not something that they will understand on their own. As a teacher or caregiver, you can help students to grasp the importance of taking appropriate measures and conducting the right actions. They might be cases where there isn’t any adult present so students need to know some life-saving tips that will lead them to safety. If you want this educational journey to be productive, take the following tips into consideration.
1. Dedicate the Time
When you decide to speak about disaster preparedness you should single out the time that should be dedicated solely to this purpose. Students won’t take it seriously enough if you mention it randomly in the class. You should spare a class for this and give yourself time to speak clearly, directly, and slowly explain to them everything that they need to know.
This isn’t something that you should rush or mention along the lines. Children can understand the importance of what you are saying only if you talk seriously about the topic. Taking a direct approach will get them to listen, learn, and react.
2. Explain the Consequences of Ignorance
Natural and man-made disasters can create chaos and the students should know that. Hopefully, they are aware that the disasters are something bad but are they aware of the consequences of not being prepared? If they are not taking this seriously enough ask them a few questions such as:
- What would you do if a fire breaks out in the next-door classroom?
- How would you act if you feel the earthquake while you’re lying in your bed?
Whatever they answer they won’t have information that is specific enough and you should emphasize them. The students should understand that their ignorance can affect their life as well as the lives of the people they care about. Mention the severity of consequences of each disaster and why these actions can prevent that from happening.
3. Talk Their Fears
Feeling scared is normal in unexpected and unwanted situations and students should know that. There is no reason that they feel ashamed because they are scared or try to hide it. However, you should mention the emotions that can occur during such events so that they won’t freeze and forget how to act.
Directly address that fear is something we all feel but that they need to remember at that moment everything that they’ve learned. Fear can only hold them back like a big bad monster and they need to fight it with their knowledge.
4. Emphasize the Importance of Their Behavior
Let them know that if they stay calm in such situations they can go beyond taking care of themselves and save others as well. If they know how to act in disastrous moments, they can help their peers, siblings, and friends.
Giving them an important role will encourage them to pay attention and understand the immense impact that disasters can have on anyone surrounding them. “Students can feel more motivated to learn disaster preparedness if they know how important it is to act in the right way. If the lesson has a more positive note with them being the hero of the story, they will try harder to prepare themselves for emergencies,” advises Jennifer Hayes, a psychologist and a marketing advisor.
5. Act It Out
Just talking about it won’t have the desired effect. You need to show it. Act out every single action. Moreover, they need to act it out as well. The students can claim that they’ve understood everything but it is better that they show you.
What you can simulate is how to bend their heads to their knees and cover their necks with their hands in the case of an earthquake. Or, the pace they need to walk and the order they need to keep while walking if there is a fire in their school.
6. Focus on Repetition
Repetition is one of the oldest and most effective methods of learning. “Repetition matters because it can hasten and deepen the engagement process. If one cares about the quality of learning, one should consciously design repetitive engagement into courses and daily teaching,” says Robert Bruner, a University Professor at the University of Virginia in one of his papers.
Make sure that this teaching isn’t a one-time thing. Ensure that the students have remembered all the actions by asking them from time to time the measures that they’ve learned. You can turn this into one of your regular activities within the classroom.
7. Make It Engaging for Smaller Children
Kid-friendly learning should be applied if the children are very small. In that case, their attention span is much shorter and you need to take a more interactive and engaging approach. Luckily there are several ways that can help you turn these lectures into something more than just a lengthy talk. For example:
- Create a game that will include them taking certain disaster supplies or acting out the safety measure after you name the disaster
- Teach them a dance such as Prep Step
- Read them an emergency-themed book and ask them questions that will make them think about how they would act in those situations
The only way to eliminate or minimize risk is to teach the students how to act by introducing them with certain measures. By following these tips you’ll be able to transfer your disaster preparedness knowledge to the students. Life-saving actions such as taking the right measure in the case of emergency can save their life and thus, teaching students how to act is a task that every teacher should take seriously.
Author’s bio. Luisa Brenton is a professional writer and editor at TopWritersReview. Not only is she interested in posting creative and helpful guest posts in various websites, but she also loves to help people write their perfect and professional resume which will allow them to land the job of their dreams.