I have an awesome group of 4th and 5th graders. My students require so much attention, love, patience and understanding. While I try my best to provide for them and support them, it is tough doing it alone because the majority need so much.
My students live in a high-poverty neighborhood with more challenges than anyone could ever know.
98% of my students get free or reduced lunch. They come from a very impoverished area of the Northside of Chicago. About 95% of my students reside in the housing project within feet of the school. Many are plagued by gun violence, drugs, crime, incarceration of a parent or close relative, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and a multitude of other experiences that no child should have to endure.
Over 50% of my students are latchkey kids. They have very little to no help or adult supervision when they get home. This leaves them to have to fend for themselves with homework, dinner and any other routines they must complete.
The mind is a powerful tool. I have learned that when we program the mind of a child, wonderful things take place. I have started the mediation process in my classroom for the last 3 weeks. The first stages have been getting my students to be still, and quiet while repeating positive affirmations in their minds. ("I AM" statements.) I would LOVE to move to the next stage of meditation by using yoga mats so my children can learn the proper seated posture and breathing techniques for mediation. The yoga mats will be used twice a day for our meditation practice.
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