15 Methods for Lecturers To Cut back Sensory Overload

Lecturers are uncovered to lots of sensory stimuli every day. Pre-Okay hugs that come as much as our knees. Sunshine glinting off puddles at recess. Getting a whiff of the pages from a guide from 1983 in our classroom library.

In fact, not all sensory experiences in school are constructive.

The screeching din of a full cafeteria. A rogue foam dodgeball nailing you within the aspect of the top. The distinctly center faculty–age scent of onion-y physique odor plus any variety of cloying physique sprays. The day the science staff does a balloon automobile experiment.

Whereas sensory overwhelm is a time period usually related to individuals who have sensory-processing points or sensitivities resulting from situations like ASD, ADHD, or SPD (sensory processing dysfunction), sensory overwhelm can occur to anybody. How are you aware your senses are overwhelmed?

  • You is perhaps extraordinarily irritable.
  • You is perhaps unable to focus.
  • You may need a powerful urge to take away no matter stimuli is sending you into overdrive.
  • You may need a powerful urge to take away your self from the scenario.

Sound acquainted?

I polled a gaggle of academics for his or her high recommendations on lowering sensory overload whereas in school, and so they got here by with a ton of responses. Take a look at their teacher-tested recommendations for methods you’ll be able to scale back the stress on every of your 5 senses, in addition to assist handle conditions that create multi-sensory challenges.

1. Noise-reducing ear tools for sophistication, cafeteria, assemblies, and many others.

“I put on Loop earplugs! Generally I even put on my full-on over-ear ear defenders. I’ve persistent migraines and am additionally neurodivergent. I clarify to my college students that they’re not earbuds or headphones and that I’m not listening to music—moderately, typically I simply want to show down the quantity slightly on every part. Sure, I can nonetheless hear you (they wish to whisper to check this, haha).”

—Ante S.

Purchase it: Loop Quiet earplugs on Amazon

“Ear plugs throughout prep blocks and assemblies.”


2. Play nature sounds, white or pink noise, or beta waves

“Nature sounds. I could possibly be imagining it, however I swear my lessons are quieter when I’ve them taking part in throughout the day.”

—Katie W.

3. Fidgets (for academics!)

“I’ve a relaxed strip steel tag on my lanyard that I can fidget with when anxious.”

—Ante S.

Purchase it: Calm strips and calm strips with steel tags on Amazon

4. Find time for being outdoors

“OK, admittedly I’m further crunchy, however I apply grounding each day throughout my lunch break. Sneakers off, stand on the grass, set a timer for 10 minutes. Eyes closed and deep breaths. My staff and college students give me a lot grief for it, however I swear it does wonders!”

—Georgia L.

“Discovering a quiet spot to sit down outdoors within the solar.”

—Alex F.

5. Uncover soothing routines on your sense of contact

“I’ve ASD and have discovered that my sense of contact is my high option to settle down. I’ve a heated blanket for winter months and a light-weight blanket for hotter months that I wrap up in throughout my planning interval or once I’m seated. In my desk, I maintain fidgets, “crunchy” slime, and a neck wrap I can pop within the microwave. Generally only a break to scrub my palms with fancy cleaning soap I carry from house is sufficient.”

—Julie F.

Purchase it: Neck wrap on Amazon

6. Preserve a soothing beverage inside attain

“Tea all day.”


“Peppermints adopted by chilly water! For some cause this … IDK, drowns out every part else? It’s like a tough reset for my mind.”

—Erin O.

7. Reset your olfactories

“Open the home windows (or go outdoors throughout your break) to scale back the scent of teenager.”

—Catie G.

“I maintain an essential-oils curler to scent once I want a peaceable second.”

—Dani P.

Purchase it: Important-Oils Curler Set on Amazon

8. Make adjustments to your lighting

“Simply say no to overhead lights.”

—Marjorie L.

“I take advantage of rice paper balls, lamps, and daylight for lighting.”


“Dim your Smartboard.”

—Isabel B.

9. Attempt to remove wall litter

“Don’t overcrowd the partitions. Loads of clean area. That is good for me AND the scholars.”

—Cami C.

Take a look at extra minimalist classroom design ideas right here!

10. Create a soothing setting on your prep interval and breaks

“My prep interval is sacred. Quiet time, lights dimmed.”


“Not permitting any youngsters in my room throughout lunch or my planning interval.”


“Studying a enjoyable novel on my break. Saved me off my screens and gave me one thing common to sit up for.”

—Allie R.

11. Go for a solo lunch

“I’ve needed to resort to quiet lunches as an alternative of consuming with different academics. It offers me time to decompress.”

—Jacki B.

12. Train classroom routines and practices that scale back sensory overload

“Robust programs in my room for motion and voice degree!”

—Beth A.

“DEAR (Drop Every little thing And Learn) time the place the lights are off, they’re quiet, and I’m consuming espresso and resting at my desk. Repeat as obligatory.”

—Reale Okay.

“Have college students write me a observe and place it on my desk so I can tackle it when I’ve a second as an alternative of pausing the lesson or having to deal with it whereas instructing. College students really feel heard and are in a position to clarify, and I can tackle it alone time.”

—Emily H.

13. Know your scheduling limits

“I might get so stressed once I had father or mother conferences scheduled simply earlier than my subsequent class. Even when it wasn’t a tense assembly, the stress of getting a gathering and sophistication back-to-back would completely spoil the remainder of my day. I started solely providing a time slot to oldsters that gave me 10 minutes to wind down from the earlier class and 10 minutes to assemble myself earlier than the subsequent class.”

—Sarah Okay.

“I’ve a trainer who advocated for herself to get a hallway put up vs. cafeteria throughout lunch—so sensible to know your self and ask for what you want! (We fortunately granted this request!)”

—Maggie M.

14. Set boundaries along with your college students

“I believe it’s a great apply to set norms and limits for your self along with your college students. ‘Right here’s a long way to be away from my face whenever you come ask me a query.’ ‘Right here’s how I’d such as you to ask a query. I don’t wish to be tapped on the shoulder.’ Then they really feel empowered to set boundaries too.”

—Julie P.

“Actually, I inform the children that I want to control my physique as a result of I’m beginning to get deregulated. After which we breathe and depend collectively in order that we are able to ALL get ourselves grounded and controlled once more.”


15. Reevaluate the best way every class begins

“Mushy begin! First 10 minutes they’ll end/do the homework, ask me questions, draw, chat, no matter, so long as it’s calm.”

—Jacqueline W.

“I actually attempt to have youngsters be silent throughout the entry activity. Helps with a centered begin to class and lets me get my head on straight and take attendance.”

—Hannah F.


The fantastic thing about these methods is that a lot of them might help with sensory points your college students may need too.

Right here’s to making a calmer, extra soothing classroom and faculty expertise.

How do you scale back sensory overwhelm for your self or your college students? Tell us your ideas within the feedback.

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Looking to reduce sensory overload as a teacher? Check out our teacher-tested strategies for managing that 4 o'clock overwhelm.

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