My inner city middle school male and female students attend this citywide. free lunch urban school that enrolls students from every area of Hartford. Students are invested in Mindfulness Room, "Pause" and value the importance of youth taking a more active role in their healing. "Pause" is the only room in the school where there are no phones allowed and either silence or quiet voices can be heard as students engage in aromatherapy, art, light and sound therapy, reflective journaling, guided imagery, mindfulness and calming activities before returning to the classroom.
Covid-19 forces educators to transition to a new platform to teach and provide social emotional counseling during the upcoming school year.
Federal, state and school district guidelines mandate that students will be educated and receive socio-emotional support using distance learning and teletherapy. Thus, it is imperative that I continue to engage in professional development opportunities that guarantees my competence to provide quality services to my students.
Our students and families of color have disproportionately been negatively impacted by Covid19. Many have suffered loss of family members, homelessness and instability related to economic stress. In addition, the security of those supports and relationships attached to the school environment were abruptly severed. Thus, my students were abruptly disconnected and isolated from the eminent helping resources provided by the school.
My students will return to school broken and in need of quality mental health interventions to address their depression, anger, anxiety, and grief that will be directly aligned to their motivation and academic performance.
Students will be supported and encouraged to resort to those previously taught mindfulness strategies of remaining calm while practicing the four R's -relax, reflect and reset with the goal of equipping oneself to return to life challenges.
I am asking for PD that will afford me the opportunity to develop an essential relevant and interactive curricula to engage students in mindfully taking charge of their personal healing. I will learn to create discussions and activities that will focus on their understanding/strategies and increased comfort levels while focusing on their internal and external triggers that negatively impact them mentally, socially and physically - especially as it connects to academics, motivation, learning and performance.
The Meaning of Grief PD digital seminar and course will equip me with the knowledge and skills to facilitate students through life’s worst moments. The training will address the Sixth Stage of Grief which is to find meaning after loss. Thus, I will be able to cover all types of loss with my students, including betrayal, loss of a parent or family member, and loss due to addiction, incarceration, mental illness and suicide - real primary life challenges for my students. Students will also be taught strategies to make connections between emotional eating, stress and self esteem and body image. Covid 19 increases the need.
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