Michele McKendry, Teacher
Going into her 16th year of teaching, Michele holds the belief that every child can learn and be a leader. To support this goal, she is always looking to bring exciting ideas and technologies into her classroom. Yoga Ed.’s online classes provided an excellent tool for Michele to use to keep her students focused and engaged in the learning environment.
Michele is an eastern Michigan native who currently teaches at Walled Lake Consolidated Schools in Walled Lake, MI. Inspired by her own teachers and a lifelong love for school, she pursued the path of teaching herself. As a dedicated teacher, Michele was searching for new tools to use in her classroom, and found Yoga Ed.’s online classes to be a perfect fit.
Personally Michele started out inexperienced with yoga. According to her, “I have a hard time slowing down and felt that yoga was too much ‘zen’ for me.” However, just as Michele was learning about Yoga Ed.’s classes, she was also receiving her certification as an eating psychology coach. From the training for her certification, she saw the benefits of mindfulness and yoga in the people she was helping. In her own diverse group of students, Michele identified a need for students to practice mindfulness and self-regulation in school. Yoga Ed.’s accessible online classes allowed Michele to give her students tools they can utilize in classroom and beyond.
Michele acted quickly and began using Yoga Ed.’s online classes in her own classroom this past year. To fit the classes into her busy school week schedule, she used the online mat yoga classes in the afternoon. For the upcoming school year, Michele is excited to experiment with when she uses the classes and to try different class formats. New this year, Yoga Ed.’s class library will feature shorter form chair yoga classes and brain breaks ranging from 3-10 minutes. The new formats will allow teachers to more easily fit a yoga break into their school day schedule.
Michele found Yoga Ed.’s classes to be well-suited to her classroom setting. “I like the lesson set up, the children are involved in the lesson, so kids see that it isn’t just an instructor on the screen, but an actual class.” Each Yoga Ed. online class includes an attached lesson plan that educators can print off and follow along with the lesson.
Responses to Michele use of Yoga Ed.’s classes have been positive from both students and their parents. In the classroom, the online yoga classes keeps the students engaged while also increasing their focus on school assignments. Yoga also helps her students foster a greater appreciation for their bodies and everything they are capable of, including becoming strong learners and leaders. She’s also seen her students taking what they’ve learned in the yoga classes and applying it to other aspects of their life. “Many of them were able to use the breathing exercises outside of the actual yoga lessons. We would discuss this throughout our time together and reflect on the breathing…” The breathing proved to be a valuable tool for the students. As Michele observed, “I do think the students were calmer after doing the lessons.” Parents also saw the benefits of the yoga classes on their children.
Michele observed the need for yoga for children in this modern day, “I believe children today live in a fast paced world, and there isn’t time for them to decompress and become more in tune with their bodies.” To find a solution to the problem, she looked to yoga for her students. Michele has already seen the benefits of mindfulness and yoga from her first year of utilizing Yoga Ed.’s online classes. Excited to deepen her learning and share it with others, Michele says “I will continue to dive deeper into this topic, and engage as many colleagues as I can to begin exploring with yoga.”