This year, more than any other, my students have endured so much trauma. From the mental and emotional stress caused by that which Hurricane Maria brought to their island and their homes, to being sent, sometimes alone, to live with relatives in the continental U.S. that are complete strangers to them. Only to arrive in this new place, where they don't speak the native language, and are told that they will take test upon test in a completely unfamiliar educational system.
It is extremely difficult for students to process all of these traumatic events.
They do not always understand that it was with their best interest in mind that their parents sent them so far away. Each day I see first hand where they struggle with the structure of our school system, and the huge changes that have come to their daily lives. They need tools and strategies, as well as support, in order to manage their emotional stress.
Psychologists have long believed that traumatic events in childhood could produce feelings of low self esteem or even worthlessness. Learning to practice mindfulness and meditation are key factors that will contribute to the emotional growth of students that have endured such events.
Success today does not depend primarily on cognitive skills.
Our students need tools that will teach them persistence, self-control, conscientiousness and self-confidence. Students will have the opportunity to hone in on these skills while learning the techniques in "Tranquilos y Atentos", and seated on their comfy meditation pillows. These strategies for stress reduction and emotional control will last them a lifetime!
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