20 years ago I was the contented owner of Evergreen Montessori School (for 3-6 year olds) and a new mom. Now, my oldest two just turned 21 and 19, but this article is NOT about them.
20 years ago a parent in my school attended a 2 hour Brain Gym® Introduction. She brought the handouts to me and suggested I learn about the program. I reluctantly scouted it out and even more reluctantly registered for a night class in the St. Paul warehouse district in the middle of winter! Much of the course content was over my head. But I brought the basic simple concepts back to my school; lo and behold, they worked. Focus shifted. Abilities to sit on a chair without falling off changed. Attitudes were changed. Memory improved. How? With simple movements that didn’t detract from a Montessori education, but rather enhanced it.
I’m sharing that brief story with you in case you, like me, find yourself intrigued. Maybe you’ve taken a course or two. Maybe you’re suddenly closer to licensure than you thought. You’re in luck!
One Possibility: Brain Gym® 26 Movement Facilitator
Movement Facilitator track is a NEW option for those who want to teach the 26 Brain Gym® Movements either as a course (BG104) or as a inservice/workshop/professional development (up to 6 hours). Last week’s article was about some of those details! Inside you’ll find links to upcoming courses!
Another Possibility: Licensed Brain Gym® Instructor
Becoming a Licensed Brain Gym® Instructor has been and still is an option. It allows you to teach the entire Brain Gym® 101 course, consult 1:1, and give inservices of any length.
First came _____, then came _____, then came Cindy with a ______
Back to my story, my relationship with the Brain Gym® program was guarded, yet curious. Six months after my first course, an advanced course was coming to Minnesota so I registered. Why not? It provided continuing education units (CEU’s) towards my Minnesota Pre-K – 6th grade teaching license. I continued taking classes as they came to me. Why? Because I was changing. My Type A perfectionistic personality was settling down and I was uncovering parts of me I had never seen before. Pretty soon, I was ready for the final course: the Brain Gym Teacher Practicum. I became a Licensed Instructor and immediately began teaching Brain Gym® 101 as a side-hustle. My original two instructors here in MN both asked me to help them sponsor courses and teach at a university. Could I volunteer on the international foundation’s course review team? I supposed I could give back to this great work. Then I was asked to shift from volunteer to a paid position. Then I was invited to apply for International Faculty. Then, then, then…
My side-hustle opportunities kept increasing; eventually, I closed my school. A decade after that major decision, I resigned as Brain Gym® Program Director. However, I am still very involved teaching this work and volunteering on a number of committees. Each course that I teach has its own personality and unique traits. This article highlights ONE of the courses:
Brain Gym® Teacher Practicum (401)
The BGTP 401 course carries perhaps the most responsibility on the instructor’s shoulders. In the Practicum course, the students “practice” teaching the Brain Gym® concepts. They also present the instructor with their completed coursework and a self-assessment. It can feel scary, daunting, or even unexpected. It is not my place to judge or discount those feelings. I remember having those same feelings. However, preparing the paperwork shows self-responsibility and competency. It shows administrative prowess. While there is a level of vulnerability required to share your private work, doing so is an opportunity to receive feedback and refine one’s knowledge base. The preparation helps the student. And, it also aids the instructor who assesses the paperwork and then fine-tunes the course content accordingly. It is a win-win. But like most wins, it requires a bit of effort on everyone’s part.
In the recent past, I recommended keeping a binder with all certificates, rosters, case study forms and logs, etc. Now I’d suggest an online folder like Dropbox or Google Drive. Track what you do, even if you don’t know the end goal, yet. After 20 years I still enjoy reading the feedback on my first case study forms. My favorite was: “What does ‘easy’ mean to you, Cindy? Is there another word that might be more specific?”
*NOTE: You can find the “preparation assignments” embedded on the bg401 webpage. take a peek and become familiar with the process.
If You Had Told Me Then….
20 years ago I only sang to those shorter than my waist. 20 years ago I had little vision for teaching adults. 20 years ago I was learning to be a mom. How did those little boys grow into amazing young men who cook, do laundry, study, work hard and all the other things young men do? How did I get to travel and share Brain Gym® in Indonesia, China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Netherlands, Canada, and all over the United States? How did I find my voice and become willing to sing to adults during a Zoom class? Great questions! The answers revolve around paying attention to the signs, lifelong learning and risk taking!
All that to say, you never know! You, too, could become one who shares this amazing Brain Gym® work with others. You can start at home or you can jump in with both feet striving for a full-time career. Whatever you decide, I am here and ready! Are you a fledgling waiting for a gentle nudge to get out there? Or are you a fledgling wanting to be encouraged to hold back, wait for the right timing? Either way, I am an International Faculty member and I am here for you!