Roeper City and Country School
EM-Embodied Awareness goes to school.
Roeper City and Country School in Birmingham, Michigan, has a long established reputation for supporting creativity and expression. Still it required an additional leap of faith for the school to bring Karen Roeper and Jane Flint and the Essential Motion work into a range of classrooms from pre-K through high school during the school’s already jam-packed 75th Anniversary Gala week!
To support Roeper School’s new Wellness Initiative, Karen and Jane joined school faculty and staff for a professional development day. In addition to sitting in on breakout sessions and speaking with students, teachers and administrators, we shared empathy and embodied awareness techniques with the Roeper Community that can easily be incorporated into daily school life without adding time to the schedule. By the end of the day, we were all ready to move to a little Mo-Town music: Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Since we’ve returned, teachers and students have shared with us via Zoom video conferences that they are beginning to integrate pausing, taking three breaths, and using micro-movements as ways to calm stress, re-engage the body, and be ready to listen, learn and respond rather than react!
In addition to working with students, teachers and the administration, Karen also met with groups of Roeper parents. She discussed and shared with them the embodied awareness modalities that she and Jane have been developing for students and teachers to connect to their bodies for the purposes of staying resilient and able to manage stressful situations.
Cindy Duley, a participant in the EM Virtual Leadership group and a field experience coordinator at the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, also accompanied Karen for several days and offered insights into how these kinds of embodied awareness modalities might be applied to teacher training programs to great effect.