A place to unwind.
Welcome to my journey! I have always had a passion for working with children. I began working as a mother's helper at age ten and have continued to work with and support families throughout my life. I hold five NYS teaching certificates and a Master's Degree in Special Education and Literacy. I spent two years teaching preschool at my hometown Head Start in Ellenville, New York. I then spent three years in various settings in grades K-5 teaching essentially every subject offered in public schools.
While there were a few variables that led to a career change three years ago, the most prominent two were the emphasis placed on teaching the Common Core standards coupled with the pressures of standardized testing. More than anything, I observed a dire need for all of the children (with and without special needs) to understand themselves deeper. I spent all five years in low-income districts and witnessed the hardships many of the children struggled with as they:
· failed to understand their emotions and how to effectively manage them (particularly when they experienced extreme anger or sadness)
· experienced significant trauma and didn't have the outlet or support they needed to heal from it; had difficulty with their school work and did not know how to manage feelings of failure and inadequacy
· struggled to understand how to socialize with their peers, leaving them feeling isolated with thoughts that something was wrong with them
Wanting to do more
I yearned for more time in my schedule to teach them coping skills to utilize when they felt out of sorts. I made time management my number one priority and squeezed in as many yoga breaks, mini-lessons and stories as I could throughout the school day. It helped but I knew it wasn’t enough.
Between bullying, high stakes testing, and countless other stressors, children today are faced with more pressure than ever before. Adults don’t have it much easier, as our economy is on the brink of its next recession, the political climate is more tumultuous than ever before, more females have experienced sexual harassment at work than not, and over sixteen million adults are experiencing depression each year.
It’s no wonder the rates for addiction and alcoholism have sky-rocketed in recent years considering the extreme expectations we are giving children at remarkably young ages. Suicide rates have also increased over 25% in the last twenty years - a statistic that should prove to us all that mental health needs to become our main priority in society. We are neglecting to teach our children how to love and care for themselves along the way, and as adults, we are either ill equipped to do the same for ourselves or ignoring our own needs.
Last year I became a certified Holistic Health Coach because I felt a calling to address that need in my community and immediately utilized the knowledge I acquired in the course to help others.
I began to notice the overarching trend: children were not the only ones who struggled to understand themselves and their bodies; adults do as well.
Countless individuals I worked with: saw the value in doing various cleanses and diets to lose weight, while very few knew the correlations between our bodies and minds. Once we train our minds to love and support our bodies, our priorities shift. We go from making a decision based on the number of calories to choosing foods that help us feel satisfied and nourished. The same thought process carries over into how we respect ourselves and others around us.
My studio will offer classes that teach children mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and various strategies for coping with stress, while simultaneously building community amongst them. There will also be classes available for parents that provide support for any obstacles they are enduring with their children - socially, emotionally and/or behaviorally.
It is my dream to cultivate a sacred space for humans of all ages to learn, support and connect with one another.