#39 Sussex County Teacher Edition: Franklin

Mar 11, 2020


"Mindfulness and social emotional learning to me are not necesarily a program, but it's more of just a practice, and we embed it as much as we can into every day activities and routines..."

- Jess Garris, 5th & 6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies Special Education Teacher 

Read or Listen in as two teachers, Jess Garris and Courtney Savino, from Franklin Elementary School in Franklin, New Jersey share their stories about how they make social and emotional learning happen in their classrooms with the practices of mindfulness and yoga! 

The Major Issue In The Classroom

Stress and anxiety levels in students have become a major issue in the classroom and that’s why I’m super excited you're here because this Sussex County Teacher Edition is all about highlighting what teachers and school staff members are doing all throughout the county of Sussex with their students in the name of social and emotional learning.

One of the one things I’ve come to know about facing challenges and tragedies is that kids of all ages sitting in classrooms all throughout Sussex County and the state of New Jersey suffer greatly from them. And year after year I witness these levels in children increasing. Students trust themselves less, they lack resiliency, as well as the ability to cope with minor disruptions. 

My Mission

As the Sussex County Teacher of the Year with a platform for embedding yoga and mindfulness into daily classroom instruction, it's become my mission to seek out other teachers in the county who are making tremendous shifts in the learning process for kids.  While I accept this honor very graciously, I also acknowledge the fact that there are many other teachers in the county who deserve to be highlighted for implementing the same practices.  

With the help of our Executive County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Rosalie Lamonte, and all the Chief Administrators in the county, I‘ve been able to make some great connections, hear some stories, and learn about the healthy goodness that’s happening with our kiddos in the classroom to help them build strong social and emotional character, which creates a solid foundation to confront the personal and academic challenges they are facing. 

"I came into yoga and I realized it helped me managed my own stress and the kids were really enjoying what I was bringing to the classroom, so that's how it began and I think it's going very well so far!"

- Courtney Savino, 2nd & 3rd Grade Special Education Teacher