With COVID-19 forcing schools into distance learning and the tremendous amount of additional social and emotional trauma in today’s world, teachers Jason Tate, FMCHC of Indio High School and Jodie Capper, CTE from Coachella Valley High School created an online program that helps educators help their students to cope and heal. 

The program, called Mindfully Resilient, teaches students practical techniques for self-care and mutual support. It covers the science and skills of meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and self-expression in words, drawings and movement in the classroom. The program was presented as part of OneFuture Coachella Valley’s Mental Health Matters webinar series originally introduced in May 2020. The program is free and available online, and both educators and students are encouraged to access them. 

“Educators not only have the opportunity to teach but to support and build communities centered around compassion, healing, forgiveness and gratitude,” says Tate, who is also the creator and founder of The Health and Nutritional Sciences (HANS) Academy at Indio High. That program was developed to teach students practical life skills based on the foundations of movement, nutrition and mindfulness. 

Prior to developing these programs, Tate took part in hundreds of hours of mind-body medicine through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) as part of the professional development allotted teachers to learn valuable skills and techniques to bring up-to-date relevant and powerful lessons into the classroom. He also received his certification as a functional medicine health coach through the Institute for Functional Medicine. 

The CMBM, whose mission statement is “teaching thousands to heal millions,” played an integral role in the development and enrichment of the HANS Academy, says Tate.  “The organization teaches community leaders and healers the skills and techniques to provide relief and support for those suffering from social and emotional trauma. As educators, we can play an important role in teaching our students life skills such as stress management and healthy nutrition in addition to classwork, and those lessons are critical at this time.”

The teachings he learned from CMBM provided Tate with the opportunity to build bridges and foundations of hope and resilience in his HANS Academy Zoom classrooms and led to the development of the Mindfully Resilient webinar.

Are the lessons effective? 

“I know these self-care practices positively impact the lives of my students daily,” Tate confirms. “At the end of many classes, students often protest, saying, ‘Nooooooo! Can we please stay?’”  

The Mindfully Resilient program is free and available online at portal.onefuturecv.org/mindfully-resilient. Jason Tate, certified functional medicine health coach and biology educator can be reached at  [email protected]. For more information on OneFuture Coachella Valley, visit www.onefuturecv.org.

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