Posted on October 19, 2015
You’ve heard us talk about the Social Emotional Learning model we use at Legacy Scholars Academy and there are a myriad of proven tools we utilize to implement this model in our classrooms. “ME” Time is one of these tools.
What is “ME” Time?
“ME” Time stands for Music Education Time, but it means so much more. It is a time for introspection, a time to practice self-care, a time all to oneself. “ME” Time is a way to create a space of “me,” a personal space that can be experienced in a full classroom and most anywhere else.
How does “ME” Time work for Legacy Scholar students?
Students and teachers at the Legacy Scholars Academy participated in workshops, before the start of “ME” Time in their classrooms. They were educated on music, emotions, and the powerful affect music can have on one’s mood. Twenty-one students took part in “ME” Time for up to six weeks.
Each day students would have five minutes at the beginning of every class period (four times a day) to have their “ME” Time. They would, first, record their emotional state using their feeling words. Then, they would listen to their self-selected music, and record their emotional state afterwards. They would, also, rate whether they felt “Worse,” “No Difference,” “Better,” or “Significantly Better.” At the end of the day students had the opportunity to write a daily reflection.
What did we find?
A majority of students found “ME” Time helpful! 70% of students reported feeling better or significantly better after listening to music to regulate their emotions. Not only that, but teachers and students noticed a positive impact within the classroom. The atmosphere was more relaxed, there was less truancy and behavioral issues, and classroom participation rose.
Thirty percent of students who recorded feeling “No Difference” after listening to music, suggested that varying the “ME” Time activities, such as drawing, writing, or walking, would increase their interest and willingness to find new ways to regulate their emotions. The variation of self-care activities will be a part of Phase II of “ME” Time known as “ME” Flex.
Students feel that…
“It was awesome. I’m always progressing my feelings.”
“It kept me going throughout the day and it kept me energized throughout each class period.”
“Please, don’t take my ‘ME’ Time away.”
–Anonymous Student, at meeting for alternative school licensing
What’s Next: ME Flex
“ME” Flex time will expand to include the following options for students:
Art therapy is a technique to acquire “self-understanding, emotional change and personal growth” (Malchiodi, 2007).
Breathing effectively can “regulate and revitalize your body, your energy levels, and your mind” (Eliaz, 2012).
Exercise benefits mental health in several ways, including reducing stress, releasing endorphins, preventing cognitive decline, alleviating anxiety, helping to control addiction, and many more.
Turning inwards is believed to bring peace and allow for reflection, creating more focused, attentive, and thoughtful individuals.
Regular journal writing strengthens immune cells. Writing about stressful life events helps to come to terms with them, and reduces the stressors on physical health (Pennebaker, 2013).
“ME” Time has turned out to be a proven tool for promoting emotional and academic success and we look forward to seeing the impact that expanding to “ME” Flex will have on the students of Legacy Scholars Academy.