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Feb

7

Salary Enhancement Courses For Educators and Their Students

By Francoise Netter

Education is my passion. Having taught some form of the arts since I was twenty, I have worked in every type of private and public institution. I’ve juggled a myriad of part time jobs. I have worked with pre-school to older adults and every population in between including in Universities, Colleges, Elementary, Middle Schools and High Schools. I have been a consultant and an artist-in-residence. But nowhere was I more challenged, then when I became a full time teacher in Colorado. I also never exceeded $35,000.00 in salary and that was 7 years ago. Now I work with the educators themselves with the intention of changing one classroom at a time.

I can sincerely state from personal experience that educators are some of the most under-appreciated, underpaid and over-worked professionals in this country and yet they have probably the most challenging and important roles. They wear more hats than most people could ever fathom and are responsible literally for the future of our society through the educating and often raising of our children.

In so many ways, I am blessed to be able to teach educators what I have studied and practiced for most of my adult life. And now, more than ever, it appears to be urgently relevant to integrate these principles into every aspect of learning and education. Creativity, body/mind wellness, kinesthetic learning, balance and integration need to be incorporated into the academic curriculum. I watch as my teachers are forced to comply with standards that have nothing to do with their students’ needs or learning skills. When they incorporate breathing, movement and creativity development into the academic curriculum, the students respond with enthusiasm and the results are both exceptional and multi-faceted.

For right now, it is a win-win. Educators are able to increase their earnings and satisfy continued education credits while incorporating life-changing ideas, lesson plans and practical applications that can make a difference in their students’ lives and their academic achievements. But what if we could overhaul the system with a more integrated approach that allowed both the teachers and the students to excel, be self-responsible and love learning?

Just imagine what education might be like. Imagine what contributions our future generations would make if they loved attending school and being part of an extraordinary system of learning that satisfied individual needs as well as the needs of the community. And finally imagine a world where educators were valued and paid the way we treat celebrities and top athletes.

To find out more about Educator courses, related seminars, in-service courses at your district and the retreat in Spain, please go to: www.bodyminddynamics.org or contact us at: fenetter@yahoo.com.

Oct

10

Beauty in Stillness

By Francoise Netter

As many of you know I have taught and trained others in Yoga and Movement For The Mind for over thirty years. I currently teach various graduate seminars for educators integrating body/mind wellness, creativity and inspiration in the classroom. I recently received a paper from one of my educator students and thought I would share the following excerpt with you.

Enjoy,
Françoise

Beauty in Stillness

By Vanessa

Sleep comes at a struggle for me.  It is not so much falling asleep but awakening in the middle of the night and relaxing enough to fall asleep again.  I try many techniques to reduce this nuisance, such as yoga, meditation even Benadryl.  They have all helped me a lot and I am better able to cope with these midnight wakings.  With the years of struggle I have had with sleep, it should not be a surprise to me that my daughter has trouble falling asleep at night.

My daughter is five years old.  She leads an active happy life full of play, learning and love.  At bedtime, I know that she is tired, even exhausted from her day.  We bathe in the evening, and read story.  It still takes her at least thirty minutes and, on most days, one hour to fall asleep!  I cannot believe it!

After taking the “Yoga for Educators” class with Françoise and working on my own meditation and relaxation techniques learned in class, I decided to start sharing some of these techniques with my daughter.  Over the summer, I worked with her on breathing deeply, relaxing her muscles one at a time and visualizing beautiful scenes.  Every night we tried something, rotating these relaxing activities before kissing her goodnight.  I was hoping that slowly one of these would catch on and she would be able to fall asleep more easily.  For a month, we worked on this.  She still would come out of her room 2 or 3 times asking for something else and still not able to fall asleep.  On some nights she even would stay awake, in bed, singing, or talking to herself for two hours!  WHY?!

I approached the question with her.  Really there is no explainable answer at this time.  I cannot put my finger on it.  So, I tried lying with her to relax her.  What a wiggle worm!  I would fall asleep before her but except that she moves so much that she disturbs me.  Ah ha! Maybe she needs to practice stillness.

So, again we worked on the relaxation techniques, as we had before, but this time we added stillness to it.  Each night I help her visualize just before kissing her good night and make sure that she is comfortable. I remind her to practice stillness and to find a beauty in her mind.  This conscious stillness is difficult and has taken some time.  A month later, it works!  Now, she still gets up on most nights but her wake time in bed is now from 15 to 30 minutes instead of from 30 to 60 minutes. Wow! What a relief.

Stillness is hard to come by in our busy lives.  In the waking hours of my daughter’s day, I probably don’t model any time to stay still myself.  Why would she know what it is like. Plus, this little one is definitely precocious.  It must be harder for someone that is constantly exploring and on the move.  If she can find stillness at five years old, it will be a skill that will help her throughout her life.  I hope our practice will influence her to take time to herself and absorb the day.  I have found beauty in the stillness of my life, when I present myself the gift.  I hope I can give her a sense that she too deserves it daily.