Together with Nia Thorpe, Jeanne van der Merwe is the co-founder of Calm Classrooms, a perfect name since it conveys the most important benefit of their programme, to bring calm to classrooms. The aim is to bring yoga to schools using classroom materials in the form of 35 yoga cards showing various selected positions. Since a calm child is much more teachable, this makes the learning experience more pleasant and beneficial for the teacher and the class.
In their own words:
The pace of the world in which today’s children are growing up, is only getting faster. Our aim with the Calm Classrooms cards is to encourage children to slow down from the inside out and provide them with meaningful tools for life!
The 35 desk-based activities that make up the Calm Classrooms card deck can be used as a behavioural resource. The resource is easy to use, and helps to create a calm, learning-friendly environment. Its benefits go well beyond the classroom too! Absolutely anyone can use and benefit from our programme – teachers, children, parents and therapists.
The Calm Classrooms cards are based on experience and research, which has shown that calmer children will develop the capacity to gain greater attentiveness and mental focus as well as manage stress and anxiety levels.
In addition, the activities were specially chosen for their suitability for the typical classroom space, and busy schedules. The cards have been divided into five exciting and accessible topics, enabling the teacher easily to draw on memorable, imaginative, safe and achievable activities with little disruption. The five Calm Classrooms topics are: Move, Focus, Relax, Breathe and Connect.
The Calm Classrooms behavioural resource is a simple way to make children’s lives happier and healthier, increase their capacity to learn effectively, manage their emotions, self-regulate their behaviour, and achieve academic and personal success.
Calm Classrooms offers professional development workshops and trainings for educators, students, parents and therapists as well as in-house training and development programme for schools.
You can view selected cards here.