by Marni Levitt – April 19, 2018
I really believe that it takes a village to raise a child – as in, it takes a whole bunch of people and resources for each and every child so that they can grown and thrive into their full potential. This isn’t an abstract concept for me, it is a lived, felt experience from my 10+ years working as an elementary school teacher. I know how much is required to help the growth of every little human being. I also know that the required resources (human and otherwise) are not always at hand and immediately available. When we work with young kids we often have to be really REALLY creative, resourceful and intelligent – and it often means we have to share and borrow in order to meet the very basic needs of little people.
Although there are lots of different kinds of resources and supports within the public school system, which is wonderful – the truth is that these days, teachers often find themselves in front of 20-30 kids who have many, varied and different needs (some quite complex) – and the teacher is just one person. The teacher is not a village. If you are lucky, you will find yourself in a school where the staff works tightly and collaboratively together, where there are enough support staff and specialists to come and spend enough time to work with the children that need more 1-1 attention, where the leadership has the time and energy to provide much needed support, and where the parents are truly members of the team, working right alongside. This is a dream scenario – and I know it happens sometimes – but, from what I hear, and what I have experienced, it is not that often these days. Everyone has their own pressures, needs and demands on their time and energy – budgets have been stretched to the max, needs have increased, supports have decreased. This can leave teachers, and parents alike feeling like they are in a ‘silo’ just getting through their intense daily, weekly, and monthly schedules pretty much on their own. In my experience, this feeling of isolation can quickly lead to burnout. When teachers and parents are feeling burned out, it is that much harder to provide the energy and creativity that young ones need.
So I believe in building a village. I believe in sharing. Ideas. Energy. Resources. Tools. Inspiration. Creativity. Motivation. Laughter. Music. Movement. Collaboration. I believe in taking risks and experimenting together. I believe in creating alliances. I believe in listening. Listening to ourselves, our bodies, our feelings. Listening to each other. Its not always easy, but we can do it – we can try our best.
I believe in creating, at the grassroots, opportunities for teachers, parents, social workers, youth workers, and anyone who lives or works with young people to get together. To get into our own mindfulness and wellness practice as adults, AND to share ideas on the best ways to share those practices with young people. To get together to HAVE FUN, to RELAX, to RECHARGE our batteries, and to remind ourselves why we began this journey with kids in the first place.
I have a tickle trunk FULL of tried tested and true mindfulness tools/ideas and methods for creating new ones – and an enthusiasm to collaborate with you. I have been leading and building yoga/mindfulness for kids programs for 10 years, and it is always evolving, changing and growing to meet the needs of today! I invite you in to the exciting process. Teaching is not a one person job. Parenting is not a one person job, or even a two person job. It takes a village.
I am planting the seed for this village. The first Move-N-Music Mindfulness Meetup for anyone who lives or works with young kids is Saturday, May 5, 10am-2pm at Kula Yoga Annex 304 Brunswick Ave. You can email me to register, or sign up on Eventbrite for May 5. Next school year, I will lead the meetups once a month.
I am also really excited to be leading a full 3-day training program in The Move-N-Music Method for leading yoga/mindfulness for young kids at the end of the summer (August 21, 22, 23) – to help give teachers and parents a boost before the busy school year begins! You can register for the full 3 days, or choose the one that works best for your schedule (please email me for special options). You can find out more on the Event Link for August Training.
I hope to see you soon!
Feel free to forward this along to someone you feel could benefit.
Lots of Love,
Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker