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Help me give my students the tools to learn how to self regulate more automatically to replace the fight or flight status they are most often in. This will increase academic learning and support them in their life!
I work in a low-income, high poverty school district in Baltimore City, where my students are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom. I am finding that more and more students struggle with self regulation skills, and lack the support outside of school to learn this crucial life skill!
Before our students walk into the school building, they have often already faced numerous different obstacles, most being out of their control.
Many of my students are being raised in single parent households, are often in charge of their younger siblings and receive a free lunch based on their socioeconomic status. Many of them have experienced traumatic situations as a result of high crime and violence in the neighborhood. These students need to learn how to calm their mind and body so they are ready and available to learn!
This school year we are working hard to improve a district wide program that has been placed in my school. This program allows for more supports in the areas of social-emotional learning. We have a wholeness room but are hoping to bring some of theses useful tools into the classroom setting so they can be used throughout the day!
One of our main goals is teaching self regulation and meditation to all of our students.
We have been practicing mindful using yoga poses during quiet time. All of the students have responded so well to this program that it would be amazing to have a deck of Yoga cards in each room, along with supports from the calming techniques book and breathing spheres (expandable spheres). We have also seen an increase of academic focus following these activities.
Our students experience a lot of trauma in their every day lives. It is crucial to provide them with the right tools to calm their bodies and brains, so they can feel safe and ready to learn within the classroom! Tools such as dimmed lighting, lap snakes, chewies and yoga balls for flexible seating, allow students to calm their bodies and feel safe within the classroom setting.
Lastly, when providing students with different methods to self regulate it's important to teach them that it's okay to be different and need different tools in school to succeed. Bullying books and visuals will assist in teaching this very important lesson.
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