Choose Love partner and supporter, Allison Morgan, founder of Zensational Kids, recently took the time to share with us about a new manual and upcoming LIVE course that she created. Educate 2B will teach you how to share breath, movement and mindfulness practices with your students AND tons of online support videos for you to use for direct student instruction. This is geared toward educators who desire to have EASY to IMPLEMENT TOOLS that don’t require more time and planning. Allison’s methodology teaches you how to embed these practices seamlessly into your day so that YOU TOO get to reap the “better feeling and easeful” effects. Read on to learn more about this program, why Allison created and how it relates to Choose Love. Sign up and saved your seat in Allison’s course HERE.
Why did you decide to create Educate 2b?
I had been a school-based occupational therapist for 20 years and continued to see a growing trend in our students and our educators which was not being addressed. Every year we were seeing more and more behavioral issues in the classroom such as inattention, explosive anger, deep sadness, fear and lack of coping skills. As an OT, these are issues we address in therapy with the children on our case load, but these have been rising issues within the general student body and at every age level and COVID has compounded these issues dramatically
What happens in most schools, is they see an increase in the number of referrals for special services, because general education teachers do not have the resources to manage all of this in the classroom. This presents a great burden to school budgets and unfortunately, most of the students referred for these behavioral and attentional difficulties, do not even qualify for services. A school’s next line of defense is calling in a behavioral management specialist, who applies ABA, behavioral analysis. The protocol for much of this type of intervention is to use rewards and consequences to reduce the undesired behavior. What we know after a decade of using this strategy, is this DOES NOT work.
While schools were bursting at the seams in RTI meetings and referrals for special services, I was studying yoga and mindfulness. I found that these practices actually go to the root of theses issues. There are 2 things we know students need to do well in school.
1- They need to feel safe – this is not just an external, environmental safety that is required, it is an internal state of feeling calm, grounded and emotionally regulated. This requires a regulated and balanced autonomic nervous system which, when you are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, overwhelm and fear, you are in complete dysregulation. We know from neuroscience that the “thinking and learning” parts of the brain are disengaged when the mind and body in these emotional states.
2- Students need to feel connected – to themselves, their peers and the adults in their life. Connection or attachment is fundamental to all learning. When classrooms are filled with high levels of stress (within the students or the educators), there is very little connection going on.
I created Educate 2B as a way for educators to implement short breaks throughout the day that actually address the current challenges they are facing in the classroom……which are the cause of the behavioral issues. These challenges are based in dysregulation of the nervous system and disconnection between the hearts, minds and bodies of the human beings in the classroom.
By skillfully learning to use your breath, mindful movement and focused attention, we are able to balance our own nervous system and help our students balance theirs. It is a win-win. We are empowering students to access their own inner coping skills which become life long tools.
How does your manual complement Choose Love?
Zensational Kids and Choose Love compliment each other. Social-emotional learning is pivotal in building the internal and external awareness needed to build a happy and successful life, as well as a compassionate and supportive community. Our tools help to create this, from the inside/out because so much of what we are suffering from (anger, overwhelm, fear, confusion, etc) is caused by an internal nervous system that is dysregulated; wired for protection and survival.
Why is it important to prioritize social and emotional development and mindfulness?
It is time that our schools implement holistic and systemic solutions to the long lingering and rising issues they have been facing for years. The system of education has been following old models that are not based on current brain research. It is time to change that. If we are to do better for our students and our educators, it is imperative that we build wellbeing (as human beings) into the fabric of our schools. How we feel matters and learning how to deal with and manage all of those big feelings is an essential part of building a successful and happy life. It is the foundation of all learning.
CLICK here for all the details on Educate 2B and to sign up.