Tag Archives: interview

Interviews with a Brain Gym Buddy – Part 1

Interview 1:  Retired Teacher (10 years)

1)      When and how did you learn of Brain gym?

In 1991 at a teacher’s workshop in Calgary.  It was a half day of exercises that could be used for a whole group of people.  There were 26 movements we learned and then something called Balancing, but I didn’t use that.                   

2)      What enticed you to learn more about Brain Gym? 

Everyone was talking about it.  It was on the news.  Other teachers were using it and the kids loved it.  I remember there were three dimensions:  left to right, front to back, and top to bottom.  It got the whole body involved.

3)      Where did you access the training?

In Lethbridge, at a school, on a Saturday training.  It wasn’t specifically for teachers; I actually think it was for YMCA fitness.  My friend told me about it and I remember other teachers talking about it.  It was a really fun day and I know that I used it with my class right away, first thing Monday morning.                        

4)      How did you implement Brain Gym with your class? 

I did it with the whole class as a start to our day.  The kids loved it. Oh, and then I took 5 or 6 classes into the gym last thing Fridays and we did it all together.  I remember the kids rushing to get themselves ready to go home just so they could go to the gym and participate!

5)      What were some of the benefits you noticed?

The kids could focus and think better.  It was easy and we could do at any time, in any room.

6)      Do you feel Brain Gym met its claims of enhancing learning potential?

Well, I meet with a lot of resistance from some parents.  They told me I was practicing voodoo.  (laugh)  I stopped talking about “the claims” and we just enjoyed the process.  I hope people are better about it now.  I know who is still using it….R.F. in Medicine Hat.  Here is her number; I want you to call her and ask her the same questions.  At least she is still teaching and can give you more current information.

Interview with a Brain Gym Buddy – Part 2

Interview 2:  (presently teaching)

1)      When and how did you learn of Brain Gym?

I first was introduced to BG 20 years ago and I’ve been using in my classroom every day since.

2)      What enticed you to learn more about it?

I went to a workshop, I think it was only a half day, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I felt better; I was relaxed and stress free.  The person running the workshop had a pamphlet with information on how to become a trainer, so I looked into that.

3)      Where did you access training?

First I went to Lethbridge for a two day seminar and then I went to Calgary for a full week during the summer.  It was so interesting!  We learned all the background to each movement and why the combinations worked for helping people relax, or focus, or think better.  It really works!

4)      How did you implement BG?

I start my classroom day with a five minute routine called PACE, and then throughout the day depending on the mood of the students or the type of activity we are about to do.  There are 26 different movements and each helps a particular physical or mental state.  I’ll send you a copy of my handout I give to kids.

5)      What were some of the benefits you noticed?

Oh, there are so many…every child benefits in their own way. I can tell you of one student I worked with who experienced a severe brain injury.  After several months of practicing BG the child made tremendous gains in recovery.  The parents were so supportive and also went for training.  Also, if I have a child with ADHD I used the Centering exercises throughout the day.  These kids don’t need any medication anymore.

6)      Do you feel BG met its claims of enhancing learning potential?

Without any doubt!  Oh!  I forgot about the water; water is essential to Brain Gym.  It is the first component to PACE so all the students have water with them all day.

When you get the manual I want you to try the Quick Balance just so you can feel for yourself what these exercises can do.  I think you might be interested in looking up information about Comprehensive Energy Psychology.  It is relatively new and I think it is a branch off of BG.

Interview with a Brain Gym Buddy – Part 3 with Summary

Interview 3:  (retired one year)

1)      When and how did you learn of Brain Gym? 

Twenty seven years ago in Lethbridge; it was a half day workshop and I really connected with the instructor.  She encouraged me to become a trainer of the first level.  I remember being so excited and then I had to buy their book (over $100 27 years ago!)  Suddenly I was involved in a Pyramid business.  But, I didn’t care; I just knew this would benefit kids.

2)      What enticed you to learn more about it?

I knew it would work.  It just made sense, balancing the mind and the body to work together; basically the balance between the physical and mental states as one.  You could compare it to the Occupational and physical therapies our CARE people bring to the school.  Look in their manuals- some of the exact movements are there!

3)      Where did you get training?

Lethbridge was the first training and then I went to Calgary.  After that I went to somewhere in Toronto for a week; it was really expensive.

4)      How did you implement BG?

Well, I used it with my whole class first thing in the morning, or as a transition between activities.  I also identified a few of my kids that really needed interventions.  I made special time in their day to help them learn through the routines for their needs.

5)      What were some of the benefits you noticed?

Well, the behaviours in my room just weren’t there.  The kids loved doing it.  They loved coming to reading class because we started with our routine for reading.

6)      Do you feel BG met its claims of enhancing learning?

Absolutely, but can I prove it?  No.  I just know my own experience.  I think the company is not going to waste time with sceptics- it works.

Summary of interviews:

These individuals were obviously positive and convinced that Brain Gym benefited their teaching practice and helped the students.  They believed in this program as a support for all students and for their staffs.  Could they explain actual philosophy behind the process?  No, they encouraged me to find a training opportunity and were willing to give another name for a person to interview.  They found the movement routines easy to learn and facilitate in their classrooms butoverall focused more on classroom management or body breaks rather than for the purpose of enhancing learning.

Each individual commented, outside of the interview questions, that Brain Gym International was a business designed to entice new trainers to come on board.  The recruitment process could be compared to that of a multi-level marketing system.  The higher the level of training, the more money you made.  The more people you introduced to the system, the more money you made.  Even though they discussed that the business side of Brain Gym bothered them, they felt the program still benefited students.  This interviewer attempted to contact a representative from Brain Gym International to gain a better understanding of the business side of the company, but response was an encouragement to find and participate in a local training session then ask these questions after the experience.

Another commonality obtained from these interviews reflected lack of promotion of Brain Gym claims within their school environments. Each individual referred to the process as “breaks” from their curricular program, morning routine, or as a transition strategy.