Have you ever wondered what kind of impact social, emotional and physical learning could have on the lives of individual students? We called upon our teachers who work in the hundreds of schools that we partner with across Australia, to share some of their impactful stories from our in-school social, emotional and physical learning programs. Here's what four of our teachers said... And yes it brought tears to our eyes as well.
"I had a male student with trouble managing strong emotions who said ‘it’s the first time I’ve ever felt relaxed’ after a relaxation exercise the class did!
Another Year 2 girl (who had some trouble at home) said she uses her breathing every night to help her get to sleep.
I’ve seen many non-English speaking kids able to join in with the entire class just by watching others and being included. I have also witnessed them speak for the first time saying their English name and how they felt. I have collected so many stories over the years! Many children say it’s their favourite part of the week and never want the program to finish."
- SH, LSG Teacher
"I am teaching at the same school I taught at last year. On my return I noticed a student who was acting differently; last year he was very interested in mindfulness and listened attentively in my classroom and he always next to me. This year he had a little character with him which he said was angry and when I got to the relaxation, the class was very agitated so I played a relaxing song. He got very emotional during the relaxation time. His teacher then told me he had a traumatic experience recently in his life outside of school, leaving him with significant injuries. After the relaxation he asked for the name of the song which I wrote down for him.
He gave me a big hug and thanked me, he said he enjoyed the program so much. In the last few classes he has been so great despite his injuries. He said things about mindfulness that other children don’t fully comprehend at his age. I cried after he hugged me that day as I thought of my own children and how quickly things can change and how important our program is."
- MC, LSG Teacher
"So many times I hear that Life Skills classes are the favourite part of the student's week. I have teachers coming out of relaxation mentioning that it's just what they needed. Last session I taught and the teacher put up her hand and said 'You know the relaxing story you told us last week, with the part where we walked through a gate to a special garden? Well I loved that story so much and felt so relaxed that I used it again last night and it helped me fall asleep.'
In my first term of teaching, there was one boy in year 1 who was very anxious and never spoke. During the 8-week program, while sitting in mindfulness I could see he was always engaged and joined in however never spoke and never shared how he was feeling. On the last day of my 8 weeks of sessions, we would go around and say how we felt and for the first time he spoke. His words were: 'I feel like a super hero when I do this class.'"
- DH, LSG Teacher
"I have so many stories to tell! One in particular with a boy who had a lot of challenges managing strong emotions in my year 3 class. He also suffered from ADHD. He would come over and talk to me before and after class. At the end of the program he told me that Life Skills has helped him so much in his life and with his anger. But to make it even more special, his mum came up to me at the end of the program and personally thanked me and said the work we were doing had such a big impact on her son."
- MH, LSG Teacher
These stories are only a few of many, however they all have a similar message: the impact of learning social, emotional and physical skills is huge for the individual students. It equips them with the skills to manage anxiety, stress and challenges for now and in the future.
Would you like support with ensuring your school's wellbeing? Contact us to find out how we can help.
**Editors note: No student(s) pictured above are the subject of any of the stories recounted.