Equipping students + staff with the tools to thrive in school + in life. We are the generation of wellness.
Wellness Warrior Spotlight
Name: Mallory Neuman
Occupation: High School Counselor
What skills have you focused on teaching this year?
Self-regulation and stress relief through guided relaxations and breathing exercises.
Working in a high school is busy and it seems there's a never ending to do list of standards to meet, tests and work/college to prep for and constant activities, assemblies and events. How is there time to teach these skills to ALL student at West Seattle High School?
As a high school counselor, you have to make time. I’ll usually start a classroom lesson with a few minutes of deep breathing, before we get into the content. We’ve also built lessons into our school-wide advisory curriculum, so even though I’m not personally delivering the lessons the students are learning about the benefits of mindfulness. Finally, I’ll work with departments who already understand the need for SEL and mindfulness (PE and World Language at the moment)...
The beginning of the school year is often an exciting time filled with decorating classrooms, collaborating with staff, meeting families, and more. Many schools and districts are also planning for daily practices that combat stress and innovative interventions that actually teach skills. Why? Take a look at these sobering statistics:
Gratitude isn’t just for the month of November or Thanksgiving time. It’s nice to focus on the good during these times, however being grateful all year can improve your quality of life. Who wouldn’t be grateful for that?
Really though, developing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve satisfaction with your life. It doesn’t cost money, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE:
The quote by Brendan Burchard summarizes intentions beautifully: "First it’s an intention, then a behavior, then a habit, then a second nature, and then it’s simply just who you are." Setting intentions is really the seed of how we behave.
Why Setting Intention is Important?
It’s exciting to know that we have the power to set our day up for success by being intentional with our thoughts. It’s a great reminder that, “You are the gardener of your mind, and you are sowing seeds every moment of every day with the thoughts that you think and the actions that you take. The seeds you plant today will determine tomorrow’s harvest.”
This is the year of HAPPINESS in Dubai. Yes the year of Happiness!
"We must achieve happiness for the community through government work. This is what the Executive Council's annual agenda will focus on, to ease people's lives and provide the best services, which will provide with them a dignified living and preserve Dubai's standing as a modern international city that promotes modernity while maintaining its cultural and social traditions," Sheikh Hamdan commented with regards to Dubai's overall success, which is a source of inspiration to other cities around the world.”
It was such a great experience observing an emphasis on happiness and well-being woven throughout communities and schools. We had a fabulous time teaching the five Happiness Habits, along with some stress-less techniques and connection activities.
"I've never met a kid who can't learn, poverty is not a learning disability."
Aren't skateboards off limits at schools? Not for this principal! Hamish Brewer is not your typical principal. He says that he spends the majority of his day out in the hallways, sends a loving message over the morning announcements every morning and has a school wide motto of 'Be Relentless'.
Communication is the transfer of information from one person or group to another. One research study showed that communication is 7% words, 38% tone, and 55% non-verbal.
Communication helps us understand others. The inability to communicate effectively can lead to a lot of problems both personally and professionally. While effective communication has been proven to build trust, prevent and resolve problems, and enhances relationships.
I like to use the framework:
Story (state the story in my head is _________)
Desire (what you would like to move forward)
Here is an example of why this is so effective:
Person A: Do you have a minute to talk?
Person B: Yes. What’s up?
Person A: The story in my head is that you aren’t going to have everything completed for the project deadline tomorrow.
Person B: Oh the story in my head is that my section of the project is complete and we’ve delegated the other two remaining parts to Katy and Jamal. Did you not...
"When you give in service to other people, you end up being happier yourself."
Daniel Siegel, MD, is Clinical Professor of psychiatry at UCLA, Co-Director of Mindful Awareness Research Center, Executive Director of Mindsight Institute, author, and recipient of numerous awards and honorary fellowships. This talk examines how relationships and reflection support the development of resilience in children and how to incorporate some of his ideas and models into your practice.
Does this quote strike a nerve?
"Dysregulated students will not learn." - Bruce Perry, Author + Researcher
It's true. It's neuroscience. And, over the past decade, we've learned a considerable amount about how stress and trauma affects the brain and body. Now the question becomes what are we going to do about it and how will our school systems change in order to match what the research is telling us.
How many students are walking into school dysregulated? Many.
So, you believe that every student should have the opportunity to learn and practice activities that help de-stress, but how in the world does this become a reality? How does self-regulation become a standard practice each day throughout the entire school?
Well, you are about to get some answers and inspiration. Take a listen to this 15 minute interview with Sabrina Castro, a Social Skills Teacher in Toppenish, who led her district in implementing self-regulation activities and interventions that allow students...