My students are a diverse and lively bunch of 8- and 9-year olds in the city of Chicago. The large majority of them are Latinx English Learners, and are learning to understand, speak, read, and write English at a variety of levels. My students enter the classroom most mornings eager to learn, energetic, and inquisitive. But they also arrive grief-stricken, anxious, and angry. They carry with them very real trauma and significant stressors that get in the way of their learning.
As my students learn to navigate a world that often throws obstacles their way, I need to be equipped to teach them to take control of their social-emotional wellbeing.
My students, like all children, get into conflicts with each other. Their feelings get hurt. They deal with loss, family transitions, trauma, as well as threats against their safety based on their religion, heritage, or race.
My own wellness journey has led me to try various practices, including yoga and meditation. Because I have lived the benefits for myself, I have a deep desire to bring these practices to my students.
I have the opportunity to participate in a 200-hour yoga and wellness teacher training program designed specifically for educators, called Breathe for Change. The training will not only certify me to teach yoga to my students and greater school community, but also will certify me as a Social Emotional Learning Facilitator, helping me to weave wellness practices into the very fabric of my students’ classroom life.
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity because the program is designed with the unique needs of educators - and their students - in mind.
This means that I will be learning tools for social-emotional wellbeing for my students while I myself am growing and strengthening my own wellness practices. I will be living what I intend my students to learn, which is one of the best ways to model the outcomes I hope to see in students.
Through this training, I will learn to teach a wide range of skills that students will use to regulate their emotions and get in touch with the present moment, build relationships with others, and engage with their community.
I am asking for just one-half of the program’s full cost. I will continue to raise funds for this program through other sources.
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