My anxiety is so bad that I can’t function.”
“Ugh. I get so frustrated in that class that I can’t even think!”
“I really feel like starting a fight but I know that won’t solve anything.”
“I just need a minute to breathe. I’m so upset.”
Sound familiar? The staff at Hamilton hears things like this every day. We understand that life can be hard and that school can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why, this year, we’ve opened a zen den in room 254.
“What’s that?” you ask. It’s a room specially designed to help students calm down. Lights are low and a nature video with soothing music plays on the whiteboard. On another section of the whiteboard, you can write down your problems and have them erased daily or you can say what you are thankful for. There’s a table for coloring, another for puzzles, and a third for connecting the dots. You may borrow a stress ball or a fidget toy when you come in. If so inclined, you may sit in one of the comfy chairs or do simple yoga in the back corner.
Where is it?: 254
Who can go?: Anyone with anxiety, frustration, or having a bad day.
For how long?: You may come once a day for 15 minutes, or during your lunch if an adult is in there.
Do I need a pass?: All teachers were given blue zen den passes. Ask for a pass if you need one. If your teacher does not have a pass, they may call room 254 to see if a teacher is available.
But there are rules and if you want to be able to visit periodically, you need to follow them.
- The Zen Den is for students who are having an anxiety attack, students who are upset and need to calm down, students who are having a bad day – NOT for students who need mediation or want to air their grievances or students who want to play instead of going to class.
- Must be willing to give your phone to teacher in charge.
- You must sign in every time you come to the zen den.
- All students must leave when the teacher leaves regardless of when you arrived.
- May stay no more than 15 minutes – if you need longer you will be referred to a SW, VFZ, or psych or need parent permission. You are responsible for all missed work.
- May come up to 2x per day during different classes with parent permission.
- May come during lunch. If you bring food, you must clean up after yourself or lose this privilege. You do not need parent permission to come during lunch. Unfortunately, right now an adult is not always available during lunch.
- If it is staffed and not already full, Muslim students may come in to pray for 15 minutes between 1:00 and1:30. Students of other religions may come to pray for 15 minutes as well.
- Must talk in soft voices or not at all
- Must listen to the teacher in charge at all times
- Keep the room as clean or cleaner than you found it.
- Maximum capacity of 24
- Students who fall asleep will be woken after 15 minutes and sent back to class.
- Privilege will be removed if you abuse time here. (disrupt others, come more than twice a day, refuse to give up phone, break any of the rules, act a fool, etc)
Right now, we aren’t open all the time, but we are hoping to be fully staffed soon.
|Block||A day 1st half||A day 2nd half||B day 1st half||B day 2nd half|
|1||8:40 open||closed||8:40 open||closed|
|2||Closed (lunch)||11:05 open||Closed (lunch)||closed|
|3||Closed (lunch)||1:34 open||12:42 open||1:34 open|
|4||2:15 open||closed||closed||3:10 open|