I listened to someone today talk about breath. She shared that when there is tension, taking a breath helps us replace that tension because there is no room for both. That made me think about breath. I find when a student is having a rough moment, my first response begins with breathing. I take those moments to just inhale and exhale.

We do a lot of “breathing” at Joyner. Many of our teachers take the time to teach the idea of breath. We help students see that just in our breathing, we can help to begin to regulate how we are feeling and pause before we respond. Teachers use the tools of STAR (Stop, Take a breath And Relax) breathing as a reminder to take a breath, take a pause. We teach the balloon breathing, my favorite. Filling our balloon arms and then making a wonderfully loud blowing out sound to empty our balloons. We pretzel and drain. All of these ways help our students build tools to calm and focus.

I think of many times as adults we need to stop and take the breath. When our little one has a hard moment and yet need to find the courage to step forward, we breathe for them. When we are in the midst of tough conversations, we take a pause and a breath. I listened so often when our spellers took that moment before attacking those words in the recent Spelling Bee. I appreciate the work that our staff takes in teaching our students and providing them tools. We cannot always remove the stresses in life, but we can offer some strategies to help navigate it. When we face those moments of tests or making up with a friend, drawing on a breathing strategy helps us through.

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