Updated: May 23, 2019
May 21, 2019 -
Breathe “peace” in.
Breathe “peace” out.
Now, take in a big breath.
Breathe out slowly.
Notice How you feel.
Above is an example of an exercise done across the district in a program called Calm Classroom.
The Calm Classroom exercises can take anywhere between one and five minutes to complete, and usually involve students closing their eyes, taking deep breaths, and meditating on positive and peaceful thoughts.
Currently, the program is being used in 20 of the district’s schools to incorporate social-emotional learning in the classroom.
Social-emotional learning is the process through which children learn to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Katrina Taylor, the Director of School and Behavioral Health, believes having programs to incorporate social-emotional learning in school is the key to having academic success.
“You cannot address academics without addressing social emotional needs first,” said Taylor. “We have to address the student as a whole, not as a portion or a piece.”
Those who have been participating in the Calm Classroom exercises say they have seen a significant difference in their students.
This is according to a survey in which 72.5 percent of teachers who participate in Calm Classrooms say this program has led to their students being more engaged in the learning process.
“As an academic institution, Duval County Public Schools provides as many resources as possible to address mental health concerns,” said Taylor. “This is why we believe social-emotional learning is so important to have in the schools.”