This week I decided to pick a reading that addresses stress of students in school and its effect on their growing up and lives. As my study focus is growing up I have talked a lot about my own growing personally and professionally. This blog is making that connection to my students and the factors that may contribute to their growth.
I read the article A Quiet Transformation. This article was written by a principal who taught in San Francisco in a middle school setting for 40 years. During his time as principal he watched a number of his students struggle with challenges such as, gangs, drugs, and violence. In his writing he makes the connection that these stress factors coupled with the academic stress placed on students today is compromising their physical health as well as their cognitive/physiological capacity. As such a number of supports were put into place such as clear behavior goals, after school programs, counseling options, and peer mentoring. While these things helped there was still a large gap in reaching their end goal of student success. The staff decided to try something new and instead of focusing on the cause or the result they additionally focused efforts on reduction of stress itself. As a school they implemented a program called quiet time in which daily school wide meditation routines were put into place. I won’t go into to too many details as I hope you take the time to read the article yourself. The outcome was powerful resulting in less suspension, increase in student productivity, as well as decrease in student altercations. Of all the amazing this this school put in place to help I find it really interesting that meditation was the key to making it all fit together!
I found a special connection to this reading because the school I work at also has students who can have high life stressors. A lot of the support put in place resemble those at my school and a lot of their goals mirror ours. I have been doing all this work on how to find balance in an adults life and why it is important. I immediately make the connection through this article that the same things are necessary for our students. Having that time to center yourself and calm your body is so important as an adult why would the same not be true for our students? I am so glad I found this article and I really look forward to trying this in my classroom and making it my own! I love to see connections between all the different moving parts of my area of study!
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