The MIND-BODY-GROW program maintains that when students feel safe and are provided with opportunities to tune in and pay attention to their inner world, they are building skills linked to self-regulation. With a supported and consistent practice that cultivates self-awareness, students can then harness learned coping skills to help them manage feelings, thoughts and behaviors that may be barriers to their learning. The more opportunities to put these skills into practice, the more self-aware and self-reliant students become.
The program also recognizes that a teacher’s ability to manage their own stress within the classroom has a direct and positive impact on their student’s well-being. Teachers participating in this program are supported in cultivating their own awareness practices, making self-care a priority and consistent routine in the classroom. When teachers learn to consciously manage their own nervous systems, they’re more available to attune to their students needs and to teach them to do the same.
We just completed three months of our Mind-Body-Grow program in twelve elementary classrooms with Midland Public Schools in Midland, Michigan. We collect data from 7 teachers and 145 students who participated in the 12-week program and this is what we learned about their experiences:
Skills learned in the Mind-Body-Grow Program have helped me:
73% focus in school.
70% focus in sports, music or some area outside of school.
65% pay more attention to my feelings.
62% pay more attention to my thoughts.
68% pay more attention to my behaviors.
70% to be more kind towards myself.
53% fall asleep at night.
52% think more about my own mental health.
Here is what some students shared about their experience with the program:
"It helps me by relaxing my mind and body so that I can focus in school."
"It helps me at school by getting me focused when I talk with neighbors too much and it helped me by getting me back into "wise owl brain" before I started taking a test because I was so worried about the test."
"One time I was really freaking out because I didn’t know what to do on a paper so I did Take Five breathing and it really helped me calm down.
"When I think poorly of myself I use positive self talk and breathe."
"I am taking care of myself more at home because of Mind-Body-Grow."
"It has helped me keep calm when I have to do things I don’t want to do."
"When I got angered by my sister and my brother I would go to my room and check in with myself."
"It helped me focus on my homework, the yoga poses."
"MBG helped me calm down after I got a question wrong on my math test."
"I get along better now with my family."
100% of the teachers who participated in the MBG program report that their students have benefited from the MBG program.
"We use MBG practices everyday in our classroom. The kids really relate the concepts to their feelings and brain states within themselves and each other."
"It allows us to take time everyday to practice being mindful - bringing awareness to ourselves."
"I have witnessed students applying skills they have learned from the program various times throughout the day when they feel stressed."
"It helped students reflect on their emotions. They were better able to identify feelings."
100% of the teachers who participated in the MBG program report that they have personally benefited from participating in the program.
"I love these practices so much that I do them at home with my own kids!"
"I have used different breathing techniques in different stressful situations. Also making time for myself has been huge!"
"I have learned the effect that I can have on my students when I am not regulated."
"This program has taught me to “name it to tame it” and also breathe when I need to."
100% of the teachers who participated in the MBG program report that they intend to share the MBG practices with new students next year AND would recommend the MBG program to other educators.
Our Mind-Body-Grow program:
To learn more about the Mind-Body-Grow program click here
Jen Rapanos, LMSW, RCYT is a child and adolescent psychotherapist working in private practice. She is the owner of Well-Bean, LLC
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