This session reviews the Start with the Heart curriculum, which enables educators to invite learners to examine what we need to support our own well-being. This involves exploring the body’s stress response, understanding the role of the brain and the nervous system, neuroplasticity, brain anatomy, self-regulation, developing a growth mindset to support resiliency, reflecting on our habits, and learning how our own well-being exists in relationship with the well-being of the communities to which we belong. Alongside the topical content of each lesson, the curriculum offers simple, life-enhancing, research-based exercises that build learners’ ability to manage the stress in their lives. The curriculum is designed with ease of delivery as a top priority. This session will model how each lesson can be delivered anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, weaved into the course of a school day for in-class or virtual instruction, supporting increased learning of other school subjects.
Gill is Director of Professional Development. She trains educators across the country on self-care and integrating health and wellness best practices. She regularly presents at conferences to share best practices in managing stress. Prior to moving to Houston, Gill lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Oman and The Netherlands in a variety of roles to learn the culture and make a difference. She managed the allocation of low cost government housing, working with the homeless, as well as, founded North East Scotland’s first dedicated yoga studio. During her overseas postings, Gill became a member of numerous Women’s Organizations supporting local charities. Her charitable efforts include fundraising for orphans in developing countries. She holds a Higher National Certificate in Local Government Administration from Langside College and also attended Shawlands Academy in Glasgow, Scotland.
Michelle is Director of Partnerships for Pure Edge Inc. Originally from New Jersey, Michelle completed her collegiate studies in Buffalo New York earning a B.S. in Sports Medicine, Minor in Sports Psychology and a Masters in Counseling & Human Services at Canisius College. Michelle has worked in her respective community in the public school setting, higher education, and the nonprofit sector. Currently, Michelle teaches stress management at George Washington University and serves on the board of directors of local nonprofits.