How can we cultivate an independent sleep pattern in a classroom with 1:7 ratio?

First of all, how old are these children? With one adult being responsible for 7 children, this can be a bit challenging, especially if they are toddlers. The adult should position herself near the mats or beds of the children who tend to become disruptive, so they can engage with them and assist them while supervising the others. 

Empower the older children in the group to be role models – especially those who are not really tired. Do not darken the room with blinds or blackout curtains. If a child truly needs to nap, they will sleep no matter how light the room is.

You need to discuss with the child’s parents the normal, at-home ritual for going to bed. Try to use as much of the same ritual as possible. For a child who is used to being read to, one adult could read to 4 or 5 children who would be lying nearby. 

Let them take a book with them to their sleeping area. Emphasize resting a bit, rather than on sleeping as some children can be very resistant to being told they need to sleep.

Be sensitive to those children who no longer need a nap – just a bit of quiet, downtime. Acknowledge that all of us who work so hard need a bit of time to be quiet, think about our day, and our friends, and decide on what the post-nap time will bring.

Through conversations with the parents, hopefully, there can be some rituals at home to support independent sleeping. 

Child sleeping