with Brenda Meyer and Miryam Sandhaus
As mindfulness teachers we are often invited into classrooms that have many different types of learners. Nowadays many classrooms have students that have varying sensory needs, use various modes of communication and physical limitations which affect their ability to move and use their bodies. Entering these environments may be foreign to many of us who are limited to our experience in the classroom.
Classrooms or environments that include students with mild to moderate challenges may include multiple flexible seating options, different ways to communicate using tablets, alternate ways to access learning as well as multiple adults in the classroom. Students that require these types of options often need different types of supports to access academics as well as mindfulness.
Through exploration of our own biases and intentions, we will begin the journey of providing mindfulness to children of all abilities.We will explore and experience various ways to aide in teaching mindfulness skills that will enhance their learning and social emotional awareness. We will begin by exploring ways to assess individual needs and how to create a safe environment in which trust and rapport are established for the whole group/classroom. New strategies and ways to modify teaching mindfulness to special populations will be explored and practiced through group discussions and activities.
Through this interactive and experiential workshop, we will deepen your understanding of sensory, communication and physical limitations as well as teach you creative ways to use various modalities and tools to aide in the student’s ability to practice mindfulness.
Brenda Meyer, MS is a counselor at CHIME Community School TK-8th, in Woodland Hills, California for the past 12 years. She has a Master’s in School Psychology and Marriage Family Therapy from California State University, Northridge. Brenda’s role as a counselor has broadened through the years as she has developed the counseling program at CHIME. CHIME is an unique setting in that all students learn together in the same classroom, regardless of ability. Brenda often collaborates and consults with other staff members to ensure the optimal participation of all students in the classroom. She has worked with a broad range of students from Gifted to those with significant disabilities through individual, group and classroom sessions. In the past three years she has partnered up with the school’s Occupational Therapist to provide social emotional learning and mindfulness in the classroom setting. Currently, all classrooms have social emotional learning as well as mindfulness on a consistent basis to help all students in their ability to self-regulate and develop an understanding of their emotions. Brenda’s own practice of Mindfulness has developed over the past three years. She has completed courses through Mindful Schools (Fundamentals, Educator Essentials, Difficult Emotions, Mindful Communication) and is currently part of the Mindful Schools Year Long Certification Class of 2017. Brenda has also completed self-compassion courses through San Diego Center for Mindful Compassion and is a Certified Move with Me: Mindfulness and Movement instructor. She has spoken on Mindfulness at ECET2 (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Teachers) both locally and nationally as well as provided trainings and informative presentations for her community.
Miryam Sandhaus MA, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist at CHIME Community School TK-8th, in Woodland Hills, California. Miryam has a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from New York University. She has worked in a variety of settings including early intervention, clinic based, and in the school setting over the past 15 years. Miryam has previously worked in both New York City and Broward County school systems, in pre-k through high school classrooms. She is currently working at CHIME Charter school, a fully inclusive elementary school in CA. CHIME is a very unique setting in that all students learn together in the same classroom, regardless of abilities. As occupational therapist of the school, Miryam collaborates and consults with other staff members to help ensure the optimal participation of all students. This includes working closely with team members to design individualized educational plans. She is also responsible for providing strategies, tools and equipment to students with varying mild to moderate to severe disabilities. Additionally, Miryam has partnered with the school counselor to co-teach The Zones of Regulation and Mindfulness & Movement in many of the classrooms. Miryam has a strong background in Sensory Integration theory and principles and has presented on the topic at staff professional development and at paraprofessional training’s.