Lavender oil was the very first essential oil that I experimented with just shy of the end of 2016. My afternoon class periods were mainly writing classes, and they held some of the chattiest kids I have ever taught! Most kids were great and put forth more effort than I would have expected from students nearing the end of the school day, but no one can concentrate on grammar rules and composing a strong thesis statement if the kid in the back of the room is bursting out into song every few minutes or wanting to share a humorous anecdote…
After a bit of research, I re-discovered lavender, known for its calming effect, and it soon became the subject of my personal experimentation. I stopped by the local health store one afternoon to purchase an oil diffuser and a large bottle of lavender oil. My thought was, “If this doesn’t work to calm my kids, I can at least have a nice smelling classroom.”
To my surprise, the calming effect that wonderful bottle of lavender oil promised did not disappoint. As soon as the kids stepped into my room and just breathed for a few minutes, it was like a switch went off in every single one of them. Even the most energetic kids, the rowdiest athletes, and the students battling ADHD had been subdued at least a notch or two.
My jaw was on the ground. I was amazed.
And not only did it spread a very evident calm throughout my classroom, but some of my more “challenging” students actually attempted to slip by me to enter the room at different passing periods of the day.
“I like your room,” they would tell me. “It’s so calm and peaceful. I feel like I can actually concentrate in here.” I also heard, “I just like how your room feels and smells.” And sometimes it was, “I just want to stay in your room all day. It’s so nice in here.” Interestingly enough, co-workers began to stop by on their off periods to stand in my classroom for a few minutes because it reminded them of a spa.
Needless to say, lavender became my preferred co-teacher, and the dramatic change in my classroom environment ignited a personal interest in the oils and how their unique properties can benefit all aspects of everyday life.