P.E. in North East ISD is fun.
There are scooter boards, rock climbing walls, parachutes and all sorts of games to play.
But at Huebner Elementary school, there is something really special -- the Zen Zone.
In one corner of the gym, there is a bubble chair, pillows and tools to help any student struggling with difficult emotions.
“I made that a professional goal for myself last year to bring more Social Emotional Learning into the gym,” said P.E. teacher Molly Ramon. “I have found that it helps me a lot too. Take a deep breath and regroup. The kids love it.”
When a student has a tough day or just needs a break, they can ask to go to the Zen Zone.
When they get there, the students can focus on their feelings and why they feel the way they do. Then, based on their emotions, they can choose an activity-- Yoga, fidget toys, sketch pads or coloring books. The student then sets a 2-minute timer.
“It’s not a place to just go play. They’ve got two minutes to refocus and rejoin the group,” said Ramon.
While this Zen Zone is unique to Ramon’s gym, all classrooms at Huebner have some version of a Zen Zone for students to take a moment and navigate their emotions.
“That way, the kids know where ever they go, they have a safe place,” said Ramon. “So, it’s very important anywhere, but especially in the gym. You are competing. And there’s a lot of emotions that go with that. I want them to learn how to compete. I also want them to learn how to handle their emotions. These kids have to be mentally tough and that starts here. This gives them tools and strategies for life.”
Molly Ramon and the entire team at Huebner are making Social Emotional Learning a priority #theNEISDway.