Breathe Through Change: Teaching Social-Emotional Wellness Through Mindfulness and Yoga
I need funding to participate in Breathe For Change - a professional development opportunity that will certify me as a wellness and yoga teacher, which will help me improve the social-emotional wellness of my school community.
The best part of my day is picking up my students first thing in the morning. Many are faced with challenges outside of school that impact their learning, and many struggle academically, yet they come to school everyday with smiles on their faces; they are ready to learn and work hard. Our school is a Title I, neighborhood school located in the Bay Area, in California. I aim to create a safe and secure learning environment where students will thrive.
Everyone in our school community is dedicated towards common goals: high academic achievement, personal responsibility, and becoming positive role models for our peers.
Being an educator is more than teaching students important academic skills, like reading, writing, and math. Educators are also key in teaching students social skills that include self-control, mindfulness, and empathy. Studies have shown that students participating in school curriculum that focuses on emotional intelligence have lower delinquency rates, lower arrests, and lower uses of health and mental health services. These same studies show that academic skills, while still very important for future success, have less of an impact on crime and delinquency rates.
As a teacher of students who are considered to be part of a high-risk demographic, seeing studies like this ring loud and clear-- I feel an urgent need to learn effective strategies that will help my students learn how to be best humans they can be.
Learning wellness tools like mindfulness and yoga empower students to love, take care of, and advocate for themselves. These tools help our students cope with the trauma that accompanies growing up in poverty.
This project will help cover the cost of the Breathe For Change training program which will help me build on what I know about mindfulness. This program will also enable me to share the positive change I've experienced with future students, as well as with the faculty of my building, and my district as a whole.
Breathe for Change is a wellness training program conceived by educators for educators. Upon graduation from Breathe for Change, I will become certified to lead wellness and social-emotional learning programs at my school (both for students and for other educators). Additionally, I will earn a nationally recognized RYT-200 yoga teacher certification. This 3-month program enhances the well-being of educators, students, and greater school communities by training educators in meaningful areas of meditation, philosophy, anatomy, social-emotional strategy, and yoga practice.
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