Transforming School and Classroom Climate

"Darrell" was a challenge! A sixth-grader in an inner-city school in Philadelphia, his teachers felt he was defiant, aggressive, inattentive and impulsive – quite a handful. After Niroga’s one-day Transformative Life/Leadership Skills (TLS) training, the assistant principal, Ryane, felt up to the challenge and tested her training by working with Darrell on TLS. After just a few minutes of mindful movement and rhythmic breathing together, Ryane felt a shift. "It was nothing dramatic, but I could sense a subtle difference in Darrell as he left my office that day," she said.

Over the next two weeks, every couple of days, Ryane tried TLS with Darrell again. When she missed a day, Darrell would ask "Why didn't you come get me yesterday? I missed doing the breathing with you!" Ryane decided to do a few minutes of TLS daily with Darrell. Soon a few of Darrell's friends began joining them in Ryane's office for their daily dose of TLS.

One morning, the principal walked into Ryane's office during TLS practice, and observed what was going on. Darrell invited him to join in in the brief practice, and he did. As he was leaving, the principal asked Ryane if she could demonstrate TLS at their next all-staff meeting.

Ryane decided that Darrell should lead the TLS demonstration, and at the next all-staff meeting, Darrell confidently led over 25 skeptical adults in mindful movement, breathing and centering. The impact was palpable. Several classroom teachers immediately asked Darrell if he could come to their classrooms and lead their students in the TLS practice. Darrell has already presented TLS to 60 fifth-graders, 80 eighth-graders, and more, transforming school and classroom climate one breath at a time.