Teachers get all caught up in teaching, dealing with behavior, trying to teach more, dealing with more behavior, and trying to teach even more, followed by dealing with more behavior, that we tend to forget some of the small institutions that could be set up in our day to make things run smoothly.
Yesterday I instructed the paras in my room to take their small groups on short breaks periodically through the day. I wanted them to do this to allow my kids to have a moment away from the stress of my rigorous coursework but most importantly, I wanted for them to get hallway air, stretch their legs, and avoid any classroom outbursts/fights at any cost.
It worked out very well. My students were calmer throughout the entire day. I felt the ease in the room. Noone was yelling like a Banchee, noone was fighting like a pitbull (I'm not counting recess because they aren't under my guidance), and noone was acting up because the work was too hard because they weren't feeling overworked.
I realize that sometimes they just need a break. I don't know what I would do if I didn't get a break during my day. Sometimes it's okie to take a few minutes and just relax.