Meet amaZEN Teacher Ms. Felicia Dogan!

Apr 25, 2016, Sonya Patel

Meet this week’s guest blogger: Teacher and ZENmaker Ms. Felicia Dogan.  Ms. Dogan teaches 3rd grade in Blytheville Public Schools in Arkansas and here is what she had to say about yoga and amaZEN U in the classroom.

And don’t forget to check out the adorable pics that she shared from her class in action!

Ms. Felicia Dogan: Teachers have opinions. LOTS of opinions. They have thoughts on classroom management, procedures, testing, recess, you name it- teachers have something to say about it. One thing that I’ve found that ALL teachers can agree on is the fact that they have a lot of stuff to get done and little time to do it.

If you’re anything like me, your biggest dread is going to a staff meeting and hearing about the 5 or 6 (or 9 or 10) new things you need to implement in your room.  Most of the time, I hear these things- make an honest attempt at them and then let them fall to the wayside. I have teaching to do, people!

One thing that I have implemented in my class and really stuck with this year, is yoga. (insert flower emoji here) But seriously, ya’ll.. Yoga in my classroom has been THE. ANSWER.

Kids are tired? Energize pose!

Kids are wired? Calm pose!

Kids are stressed? Breathwork!

Inside recess? Work on being bendy!

I start out each day with a bell ringer and morning announcements. As soon as announcements are over, my students push in their chairs and we log into I set up our flows based on what is on my lesson plans. If we have a test that morning, I will choose poses based on calming and focusing. If we have a lot of reading in our assignment, I will choose poses focused on energy.

Another time I use AmazenU is for inside recess. (But seriously, does the thought of inside recess give anyone else night terrors?)  Between those cold winter months and rainy spring months, it seems like my poor thirdies can’t catch a break! We do inside recess in our classrooms, which usually equals= a short 15 minute snippet of a movie on the smartboard or games on their chromebook. I prefer my students to think of their chromebook as learning tools and not toys. So, I really don’t like for them to get on games.  And the thought of getting them back on track after we watch 15 minutes of The Magic School Bus….no. Just no.

However pulling up and logging into is quick, easy, and painless. My kids can bend and move without being loud, wild, or breaking stuff. They benefit from learning to control their breath and focus and they get to release some of that never-ending energy.

I know you don’t know me well, but believe me- I’m a tell-it-like-it-is, keep-it-real kinda gal. I have stuff to do and I don’t have time for foo-foo. I say all of that to say this: I don’t have time to not do yoga in my classroom. I am teaching my students self-control and self-awareness. They’re proud of their accomplishments, they’re engaged, and best of all…They’re active! If I have to be out and have a sub, I have a yoga flow in my sub plans. If my students don’t get to do yoga, I can guarantee you that someone is going to have to get a consequence.  I would prefer to use the 5-7 minutes that it would take me to correct behavior and use it for yoga. Prevent the behavior and you won’t have to correct it!

If you don’t believe me- try it! You get a free month trial, and then when you fall in love (and you will) it is very affordable.

You deserve this. Your kids deserve this.

Felicia Dogan Students amaZEN U

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