Thank you for your unwavering support of our mission. The past few years have been incredibly challenging in the world of education; school communities and centers are facing high levels of learning loss, absenteeism, staff burnout, and increased exposure to trauma.
At La Joya Independent School District, Special Education Teacher Judith Lopez Guerra joins her students in an audio-guided mindfulness practice by Inner Explorer. And while a 5-10 minute practice may sound simple, it has a profound effect on the remainder of the school day; the entire class – including Judith – feels calm, settled, and prepared for academics.
Judith finds that daily mindfulness is particularly effective in helping her special education students advocate for themselves. Through cultivating skills like self-awareness and self-compassion, students recognize when they need to ask for help. "If we are in the middle of a math lesson and they become overwhelmed and can’t focus, I will offer to do a session right then and there – or the students will ask me to play an Inner Explorer practice," she shares.
As a result, classroom culture transforms from the inside out: Judith notes an 80% reduction in the need for additional help and 85% fewer behavioral issues – a success she credits to daily mindfulness.
In addition to improving classroom culture, mental and emotional well-being impact academic outcomes too. Research on the Inner Explorer program proves that it is an effective way to improve Math, Reading, and Science scores, plus boost average G.P.A.
"We have math and we have science, but we also have Inner Explorer. Through Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL), students can get in touch with how they are feeling; as a teacher, I want them to know that what they are feeling matters because it impacts everything else that they do," says Judith.
Are you looking to implement Inner Explorer in special education classrooms? Find best practices and more insight from La Joya Independent School District in our case study.
Last year we piloted one class with Inner Explorer’s mindfulness program. The one class who used it was the calmest class with the fewest incident reports (0 versus an average of 25 in the other classrooms!) and had the high estacademic gains in reading (initially 10 of 28 students werebelow grade level, at the end of the year 0 of 28 werebelow, including several special needs students!). We are expanding into all the classrooms this year.Principal, Sarasota, FL
Inner Explorer is very user friendly and easy to implement. We have seen a dramatic increase in the positive behaviors of the students in the classrooms where the program is donewith fidelity. The investment of 5-10 minutes daily, comes back to you exponentially! Programs such as this should berequired in all schools! Ileana Mellan, Principal,Mater Academy.
We had just started IE a few months prior to the marathon bombing in Boston. Third grade was particularly traumatizedas that was the grade that lost Martin. By continuing toparticipate in IE each day after the bombing, IE served asgood trauma first-aid for several reasons: Maintaining familiar routines and rituals Ongoing teaching of calm down strategies. A safe space and sense of security. Helped teachers and students with self-care Director of Special Ed and Student Support.
Inner Explorer has empowered our students to handle stress, anxiety, and negative emotions in a constructive manner. The 5-10 minute guided audio practices are long enough toprovide immediate positive effects and short enough as tonot disrupt instructional time. Teachers have said that they themselves have used the mindfulness strategies to reduce their own stress. Inner Explorer is simple to use, empowers students and teachers to self-regulate their emotions, and their team is always readily available to answer questions/address concerns Aida Trujillo, AssistantPrincipal