I teach in an urban high school where economic constraints hinder their learning. We are lacking many materials needed to help them succeed in the English classroom. The district offers free breakfast and free lunch to our students. Many of the students read below grade level and this can impact their motivation in class.
My students face a lot of adversity both in and out of the classroom which leads to issues academically and socially.
Many of our disengaged students are chronically absent or tardy, meaning students are missing 10 percent or greater of the total number of days during the school year including excused, unexcused, out-of-school suspensions, and in-school suspensions.
They are hardworking and eager to learn. They need tools that will help make them college and career ready once they leave these halls. My students are creative, humorous and diverse and they deserve a chance to learn.
Students become disengaged from school for a number of reasons which leads to poor performance in the classroom and are more likely to skip classes, engage in challenging anti-social behaviors and are more at risk of dropping out of school. Many times disengaged students feel as though they don't connect with anyone in the building, can't handle the stresses of life outside and inside of school and are unsure of how to work through their problems.
The overall goal of this room is to give students a place to learn how to handle these issues and help them become more aware of their emotions, their self-worth and their self- motivators which will, in turn, make them feel like part of the school community.
I am one of the teacher-leaders of the SEL team in my building and after attending the SEL in Action Conference in New Mexico this October, I want to give the students an environment where they can safely take a Meta-Moment and work on other Yale RULER strategies they have been taught.
The items I have chosen are meant to create a space where students can come into and relax, meditate and be mindful. Yoga mats will be used so students have a clean place to sit, lay or practice yoga. The chimes and the lavender oil are meant to help make the environment more relaxing and peaceful. This room will be where students can go when the stresses of life inside and out of school tend to distract them from being successful within the classroom.
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