Let’s Get Physical, Physical

Rain lashes our classroom windows. Inside sixteen five-year olds are getting fractious as they try their best to listen to their teacher. What is a teacher to do? How does she support her students' physical and mental wellbeing when the weather just isn’t cooperating?  She gets creative.

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 Let’s get our bodies moving by doing some yoga.

That was the start of Room 15’s journey into yoga.

Through exploring the internet, Mrs Berger was able to select an online platform that was both suitable to this age group and one that was hopefully going to get their attention and encourage their participation in something new and potentially physically challenging for them.

It worked! From the very first few minutes, I observed the student in Room 15 closely watching and following the yoga instructor as they started to learn their first yoga poses. From the look of their excited faces, I could tell that these students were hooked. We started off easily, learning simple poses like our namaste starting position and the Cat-Cow.

Bending makes my knees feel good.

I like shark pose because you put your arms at the back and it's a good stretch.

As the students' skills increased we learned more complex poses, like the Downward Dog and Tree Pose.

Boat pose is hard but I am getting better at it.

Tree pose is my favourite, you have to balance on one leg, it's a bit tricky.

My tummy and arms get stretched when I do bridge pose.

Through participating in classroom yoga the students of Room 15 benefited in numerous ways.  Their physical health improved by enhancing flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. It helped them expend energy on rainy days, stay active, and maintain physical fitness, which is crucial for overall health and crosscountry preparation.

As I had already witnessed, rainy days, especially for younger learners, can lead to feelings of restlessness. I noticed that after yoga Room 15 students' ability to focus and pay attention has improved.

Overtime, students have come to eagerly anticipate these yoga sessions, rain or shine. What  began as a practical solution has now become a favoured routine for Room 15 students.

Overall, yoga offers Room 15 students a holistic approach to education that addresses their physical, mental, and social development needs while aligning with aspects of the New Zealand curriculum such as physical health and mental well being.

Our next step is to incorporate yoga into our everyday classroom routine.

2024 Berger

Debbie Berger

Since embarking on my teaching journey in 2017, I've found profound joy in shaping young minds, guiding them to explore their interests and embrace their curiosity. As a teacher, I've had the privilege of witnessing the spark of discovery ignite within my students, and it's a feeling that never loses its magic.

Balancing my role as an educator with being a wife and mother to two wonderful children has been a rewarding challenge. When I'm not in the classroom, I cherish the moments spent walking my dog, finding solace in the simple rhythm of nature. However, it's the quality time spent with my family that truly rejuvenates me, particularly during our visits to my husband's family in Israel. These journeys have not only enriched our cultural understanding but have also provided us with lasting memories.

My teaching philosophy revolves around nurturing children's innate curiosity. I strongly believe that by encouraging their interests and supporting their questions, we foster a love for learning that transcends the classroom. It's remarkable to witness their eyes light up as they uncover new ideas and concepts.

In essence, teaching isn't just my profession – it's my passion. Guiding children towards realising their potential and fostering their inquisitiveness brings a deep sense of fulfilment. As I continue on this journey, I look forward to many more years of inspiring young minds and creating a positive impact that extends far beyond the classroom walls.


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