mindful career prep at arlington pep

 Erin Henshaw enlightened students in the Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) at the Arlington Career Center with mindfulness strategies, thought, and fun. The students in the PEP program have varying levels of disabilities and are high school students aged 18-22 years of age.  Erin came and taught two sessions to different groups of students one day before their graduation day, to prepare them for the upcoming stresses of interviews and public speaking.  Erin did a remarkable job of tailoring her instruction to each specific group that she taught. The first group was small, but required a high level of support from staff and thorough accommodations like repetitions. Erin did a wonderful job of keeping all of the students engaged and by providing the teachers with tools like body scans and mindful movements to assist students during the sessions.  We spoke about developing our "spidey senses" of personal and group awareness, and the difference between how the body responds to "big things," and "little things" in life.   The students had so much fun being silly and using skills to calm down at their own pace. Erin welcomed their unique inputs and incorporated their thoughts and their own body movements into her own instruction. The second group of students was larger, more independent, and more doubtful of “mindfulness”. Erin easily changed her teaching method to appropriately reach these students, using appropriate metaphors like popular music and pressing personal challenges. They discussed the science behind various mindfulness methods and brainstormed scenarios where one may use them, like when preparing for job interviews after graduation. Erin did a remarkable job of keeping the students interested and wanting to hear more. As a staff person, I was delighted to watch our students engage with new concepts and was left wishing for it to happen more frequently!   Laura Jacobs   Speech and Language Pathologist,   Arlington Public Schools 

Erin Henshaw enlightened students in the Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) at the Arlington Career Center with mindfulness strategies, thought, and fun. The students in the PEP program have varying levels of disabilities and are high school students aged 18-22 years of age.  Erin came and taught two sessions to different groups of students one day before their graduation day, to prepare them for the upcoming stresses of interviews and public speaking.

Erin did a remarkable job of tailoring her instruction to each specific group that she taught. The first group was small, but required a high level of support from staff and thorough accommodations like repetitions. Erin did a wonderful job of keeping all of the students engaged and by providing the teachers with tools like body scans and mindful movements to assist students during the sessions.  We spoke about developing our "spidey senses" of personal and group awareness, and the difference between how the body responds to "big things," and "little things" in life. 

The students had so much fun being silly and using skills to calm down at their own pace. Erin welcomed their unique inputs and incorporated their thoughts and their own body movements into her own instruction. The second group of students was larger, more independent, and more doubtful of “mindfulness”. Erin easily changed her teaching method to appropriately reach these students, using appropriate metaphors like popular music and pressing personal challenges. They discussed the science behind various mindfulness methods and brainstormed scenarios where one may use them, like when preparing for job interviews after graduation. Erin did a remarkable job of keeping the students interested and wanting to hear more. As a staff person, I was delighted to watch our students engage with new concepts and was left wishing for it to happen more frequently! 

Laura Jacobs 

Speech and Language Pathologist, 

Arlington Public Schools 

brain breaks at johnson elementary

 A note from the  Johnson Elementary PTO :  Thanks to a grant from the Johnson PTO,  The Mind Body Project  will be leading a Mindfulness program at Johnson! The program runs 6 weeks and includes classes grade 1-4 for 15-25 minutes per week. Facilitators introduce mindfulness and mindful practices into the classrooms, in a smile-infused, caring, enthusiastic manner.  The program empowers students to: reduce stress and improve the ability to respond to stress, increase self-confidence, improve attention, increase optimism, and improve socially competent behaviors.   Now in their second week of practicing mindfulness, Johnson students have explored intentionally experiencing the present moment without judgment, paying attention not only to what’s happening in their environment, but also their personal internal dialogue and emotions, and the interconnection of mind and body.  Gathered in the course of one Mindfulness afternoon, the following quotes respond to facilitators’ questions about what emotions students feel and where in the body, students’ experience of a minute of mindful listening and the effects of a short body scan:   “Through my whole body I sometimes feel anger.” (2nd grade)    “If you know where you feel your emotions, you can calm them down through relaxing.” (4th grade)    “All my stress focuses on that area.” (3nd grade)    “The body scan helped because if you are too excited you can get that thought out of your mind and relax.” (4th grade)    “It was crazy…I could feel stuff going on in my mind…” (3rd grade)    “I felt a different kind of crazy…it was quieter and I got to hear things moving.” (3rd grade)    “Everything gets fuzzy and stretched out and like…I can hear the birds.” (3rd grade)    “We have a way to just relax.” (3rd grade)    “It made me feel calm. Like at home…and strong inside.” (3rd grade)

A note from the Johnson Elementary PTO:

Thanks to a grant from the Johnson PTO, The Mind Body Project will be leading a Mindfulness program at Johnson! The program runs 6 weeks and includes classes grade 1-4 for 15-25 minutes per week. Facilitators introduce mindfulness and mindful practices into the classrooms, in a smile-infused, caring, enthusiastic manner.

The program empowers students to: reduce stress and improve the ability to respond to stress, increase self-confidence, improve attention, increase optimism, and improve socially competent behaviors.   Now in their second week of practicing mindfulness, Johnson students have explored intentionally experiencing the present moment without judgment, paying attention not only to what’s happening in their environment, but also their personal internal dialogue and emotions, and the interconnection of mind and body.

Gathered in the course of one Mindfulness afternoon, the following quotes respond to facilitators’ questions about what emotions students feel and where in the body, students’ experience of a minute of mindful listening and the effects of a short body scan:

“Through my whole body I sometimes feel anger.” (2nd grade)

“If you know where you feel your emotions, you can calm them down through relaxing.” (4th grade)

“All my stress focuses on that area.” (3nd grade)

“The body scan helped because if you are too excited you can get that thought out of your mind and relax.” (4th grade)

“It was crazy…I could feel stuff going on in my mind…” (3rd grade)

“I felt a different kind of crazy…it was quieter and I got to hear things moving.” (3rd grade)

“Everything gets fuzzy and stretched out and like…I can hear the birds.” (3rd grade)

“We have a way to just relax.” (3rd grade)

“It made me feel calm. Like at home…and strong inside.” (3rd grade)

mindful School Year
kick-off

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"TODAY WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR."
— RYAN CARDWELL, CAMPUS DIRECTOR, IVY SCHOOLS

Full Day Teacher Self-Care and Mindful Teaching Program

Themes: Growth Mindset , Challenge, Socio-Emotional Regulation

Program:

  • 9am: Healthy Breakfast + Gratitudes

  • 10am: Energizing Cardio Wake-Up

  • 10:30am: The Teacher Brain on Yoga

  • Noon: Lunch

  • 1pm: Yoga + Deep Relaxation

  • 3:30pm: Growth Mindset Cardio Challenge

  • 5pm: Group Reflections + Takeaways