November 27th, 2007


The Right Message

Once a week, in each of my daughter's classrooms, I lead a yoga practice.

It's a routine that stretches back to when they were in preschool and it's one of the things I really love about my life as a mom. 

Each year I ask their new teachers if they'd welcome this and each year I bite my nails with the worry that they're going to say, "No. This is school, ma'am. We need to buck up and buckle down. Sharpen our pencils and  sit up straight. We can't have people like you namastaying all hither and yon." 

But that never happens. They always say, "Yes, that'd be terrific."

So, this week, something even better has happened. My elder daughter's class has to take 'benchmark' tests three days running. Benchmark tests are like practice tests for the test-tests. You know the ones. I could go on about them but, ahem, I won't. Suffice it to say that the benchmark tests aren't the better thing that has happened.

THIS is the better thing. 
The wise Ms. W asked if we could do yoga all three days this week. 

You got that?



She thought it might help the kids feel more focused and more relaxed. 

I could've kissed her.

This morning we had our first pre-test session. 
Desk-side triangle poses. 
A couple of tree poses. 
A lion's breath or two. 

Every child in that classroom looked wider awake by the end of it all and I'm pretty sure not a one of them was thinking about their #2 pencils and scantron sheets. 

Added bonus? I got back to my desk all vibratey and ready to roll.

(And, in keeping with my new "end every post with gratitude" rule, I'd like to say that I'm so thankful for Ms. W and all you other teachers out there -- giving our kids the messages that they need to negotiate life. Not tests. Life.)