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Add calm to your child's classroom with one quick email

A few weeks ago on the podcast I shared a conversation I had with Kailey Lefko, educator and co-founder of Educalme. One of the reasons I was really excited to talk with Kailey is that she has created a product that teachers can use independently. In my work as a kids mindfulness coach, I've had the opportunity to interact with different schools and different school districts as I advocate for more opportunities for kids to learn mindfulness.

Parents that I work with often wish that their kids were receiving more support in learning emotional regulation and mindfulness at school. Other parents experience frustration because their now-mindful child isn't trusted and isn't able to use self-awareness in the classroom.

Here's an example to give you context: One of the kids I have coached for the past year often gets frustrated that the other students in his math class are noisy, disruptive and disrespectful to the teacher. He knows that he just needs a few minutes of quiet out in the hallway to take some deep breaths, collect himself and re-engage with the classroom discussion. Because his class is right after lunch and the kids are expected to take care of their bathroom needs during lunch, this teacher doesn't allow hall passes. As a result, this student has to try to self-regulate at his desk as his attention fades and his frustration increases. It's a losing battle as the class gets more and more rowdy and the teacher gets more and more frustrated. By the end of class everyone leaves feeling frazzled and minimal learning has occurred, leaving this student with increased homework, the teacher with a sense of deep fatigue and all parties with the feeling of helplessness. The thing is, it doesn't have to be this way.

When we introduce mindfulness and support children in understanding their own needs, we invite them to care for themselves and contribute to the learning environment in intentional ways. If this student had been able to go out into the hall, he would've been able to collect himself, calm down and re-enter the classroom with a sense of steadiness and creativity. In some instances he may even be able to support the teacher in the classroom by leveraging his calm to enhance the learning environment. Imagine what that classroom would be like if all the children had that skill and if the teacher was able to practice self-care more mindfully in the midst of a rough class period. The outcome would have changed significantly.

My work and Kailey's program Educalme set out to make this second scenario a reality. With appropriate support, kids and teachers can come together in the learning environment with a mindful foundation and shift the way learning happens. In order for change to happen in the classroom, there must be a willingness to learn. In advocating for our children, we can help teachers see how mindfulness will support their well-being AND their students, creating a focused learning environment. Here's sample wording you can use to share this podcast with your child's school:

Dear {insert name of child's teacher},

I am so grateful for all the ways you support {insert your child's name}'s learning. I recently listened to this podcast and thought of you. I know you work SO hard to prepare each day and you don't have time to add one more thing to your plate. I also know that you care deeply for all the kids and want the best for them. As I listened to this show, I thought about how cool it would be to care for yourself and your students with these simple 5 minute mindfulness exercises. I especially loved the part about how doing these mindfulness exercises actually helps the kids learn so the time in the classroom is MORE effective. We've been trying to implement more mindfulness practices at home and it's made a difference for {insert child's name}. I'm so curious about what would happen for all the kids if this program made it's way into our school. The nice thing is that they have individual licenses for teachers so the whole district doesn't have to sign up. Let me know if you check out the episode. I'd love to hear what you think.

With gratitude,

{insert your name here}

It could be that simple. Small, consistent steps can make a big difference when it comes to mindfulness. Open your email, copy the wording and hit send!

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