Around Christmas time we all would like to receive physical gifts, I always try to buy people something personal that I have spent time choosing particularly for them. I think sometimes we forget that the best gifts are the ones that we don’t see such as love, forgiveness, acceptance as without these we cannot be ourselves. Joining Mini Me Yoga has provided me with a new gift that I cherish and has helped me to find my way in life – I am extremely thankful to Kate Bartram-Brown for this opportunity. Teaching kids yoga and mindfulness alongside positive thinking and having fun has allowed me to become the teacher I’ve always wanted to be, without being restricted and confined by targets, statistics or this is what we should do because it’s now our school policy.
My background is in education as I am a primary school teacher and worked mainly within key stage 2 where exams and pressure for children builds. I felt that there was something missing as my role as a teacher and I wasn’t providing children with the support that I wanted to, in the way in which I wanted. One day, I had a child who had an emotional breakdown – no one would give them the time or space that they needed to compile themselves – this breakdown all due to the stress of an exam, an exam that was statutory, that I as the Year 6 teacher had given to that child. For me this was my turning point, I knew I needed to be teaching but in a positive way, a way that developed self-confidence, self-esteem and supported emotional well-being, not aided the negativity. I have also had several children over the years of teaching with additional needs from ADHD and Autism, to anxiety and anger issues or just not wanting to be at school – every one of those important and needing positivity and support.
I, myself, have an additional need that was not diagnosed until my early 20’s. At first, I felt like a failure, it explained why school was difficult, why I had not obtained A levels, it really had a negative impact on me. Then, I decided that as a teacher I needed to embrace it, think positively about it so that I could help the children I taught – I used the different talents within my class to help me with my additional needs, making them more aware and understanding of others but also that it could be fantastic to work together and help one another whilst being grateful for how different we all were.
One day, the same child from my turning point moment was having another meltdown – I shared how I had felt about my diagnosis and I got the response of “but you are a teacher!” – this gave me the gift that I had needed – yes I was a teacher, but I had done it, overcome challenges, my own negatively and fear, that child had made me look at everything in a different light – “if I can do it, so can you.”
I have recently spent time working as an emotional and behavioural support teacher, which I loved so much but still felt that there were restrictions and parents came to me asking how they could help. With Mini Me Yoga we are empowering both children and adults, build bonds and relationships, providing people with the support and fun that we all need in life regardless of our age or ability.
Don’t be defined by a label or challenges, everyone is unique and special, allow exploration, creativity and give the gift of positivity, inclusion, love, laughter, ambition, encouragement – these unspoken gifts are more powerful than any physical gift.
Meet this week’s guest blogger and Mini Me Yoga Ambassador, Vicki Readings:
I am extremely passionate about children’s emotional well being and self belief. My journey started when I was a teaching assistant and then went on to become a primary school teacher. I then had the opportunity to work with an amazing well being practitioner. From this I knew that my version of being a teacher was not in my role at the time as it was too restricting. I became a Relax Kids coach and trained in other programmes to help support children and families and changed my role within school to become an emotional and behavioural support teacher. When doing this, I wanted a way to help empower parents and educators to support children themselves on a daily basis and found my new path and journey into Mini Me Yoga. This has been the most amazing journey that I am honoured to be on and a new family to be part of.
Like Vicki’s Mini Me Yoga Wales Facebook page for more opportunities to empower adults and children in the Wales area! If you are not around Wales and would like to know more about Mini Me Yoga’s various workshops that support children to grow healthy emotional lives, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org