Why include embodiment alongside executive functioning coaching?
Embodiment practices, particularly the Alexander Technique, teach awareness and reflective techniques to support efficient body use. These same awareness and reflective techniques can be applied to one’s academic education, especially executive functioning (how one plans, organizes and executes actions). For example, Alexander Technique, teaches students how to use the body as a barometer to gauge their level of focus/attention and stress during all activities. This enables students to increase stamina and focus during lectures, test-taking and homework.

Learning is a full-bodied process; observe anyone who is engaged and fluid in their learning and their body will be expansive and rooted to the ground. The skills students learn through embodiment practices are life-long and maximize learning potential and increase agency.  By teaching learners to “be the boss of their bodies,” they can bring this level of attention and focus into their academics and take greater responsibility for their education and physical well-being.

How are executive function coaching sessions structured?
Students work one-on-one with an executive function coach (for 45 min or an hour) on their current academic work. The coach works with the student to model effective organization, planning/management skills as they tackle current homework. Alexander Technique is integrated during moments of pause to teach the student how to effectively use his or her body to support efficiency. The coach leaves the student with an effective game-plan to continue to practice the skills that were taught during the lesson and to continue to effectively tackle long-term work. Often, an update email is sent to the student’s parents to ensure that everyone within the learning team is on the same page.

What types of skills do we specialize in teaching?
Students learn:

  • to effectively utilize a planner
  • to organize and write essays
  • to advocate for themselves with their teachers
  • to become aware of how they utilize their bodies during academic work to support efficiency
  • strategies to prepare for tests (based on the student’s unique learning style)
  • to manage multiple activities
  • to implement effective organization systems (backpack, desk, locker)
  • to communicate effectively to all players on the learning team
  • to manage long-term projects
  • to identify and track areas of strength and weakness
  • to utilize creative interests to engage in academic work
  • life-long self care skills to develop physical mastery through the Alexander Technique
  • to implement ways of joyful learning through tracking and building on interests

What happens during an Alexander Lesson?
A teacher uses guiding touch and verbal directions to bring awareness to the student’s postural habits. Alexander Technique teachers are trained to communicate directional energy through their touch. Notice in the pictures below, the openness of the hands and the vertical clarity through the bodies of both the teachers and the students. There are three components to a lesson, standing, sitting and lying down. In addition, the teacher will ask you to perform some of your daily tasks, such as walking, using your phone, dancing, typing on a computer, etc. and will help you identify how to do these tasks more efficiently. Our aim is help people build agency in their learning process. Because of this, we will construct a lesson based upon the interests of each student and work within his or her comfort zone.

AT examples real pics

What should students bring to a session?
Students should bring current academic work, including their planners.  If available, parents should send the student’s most up-to-date academic report (ideally with teacher comments).  We also recommend that parents share any recent IEPs and/or education evaluations.

How many Alexander Technique and/or executive functions coaching does one usually take during a course of study?
For the Alexander Technique we recommend setting up at least 10 sessions for substantial change to take place. Generally, the Alexander Technique is an ongoing practice that supports everyday health and wellness and students will benefit from ongoing and consistent practice until they are able to work independently.

For exective functions coaching (and sometimes in conjunction with Alexander Technique), we recommend that a student work with one of our teachers  for a school-year.  Weekly lessons support the student’s current academic work.

what are the aims for one-on-one support through the bodyLITERATE?
bodyliterate goals for one-on-one lessons

How long is a session?
Lessons are 45min to an hour
Lessons can be extended in certain circumstances with advance notice

How are Alexander Technique (AT) lessons structured with executive functions coaching?
We create a lesson structure that suits the individual learning needs of the student. Some students work well when they begin a session with 30min of AT as a way to root themselves, connect to their breath and bring awareness to their focus/attention. Other students work well to have the AT as a 20 minute break in-between academic work.  It all depends on the student’s learning needs.

Can parents/care-givers arrange to observe a lesson?
Yes! Parents are welcome to sit-in on their child’s first lesson.  Beyond the first lesson, we recommend that parents allow the student to have autonomy during sessions.  One of our aims is to support young-learners to work independently of their parents.  We will make sure to communicate frequently with parents/care-givers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. We are team players!

What ages does the bodyLITERATE support?
We support students from Kindergarten all the way to adults.

How does the bodyLITERATE collaborate with other education professionals to support learning?
We communicate on a weekly basis with schools, other tutors, parents and mental health professionals to ensure that students receive the most effective and up-to-date instruction.

What are the policies regarding scheduling?
We strive to create the most effective structure to support doing what we love to do: helping students obtain agency and engagement in their education.  Over a decade of teaching experience has demonstrated to us that consistent lessons enable the bodyLITERATE to be most effective in reaching our aims.   We ask that clients provide us with 24 hours’ notice when changes or cancellations are necessary.  We understand that illnesses and unforeseen circumstances occur and we allow one last-minute cancellation for each client.  Beyond this, we do charge the entire fee for cancelled sessions.

How is executive functions coaching different from tutoring?
As executive functions (EF)coaches, we focus primarily on how the student approaches their learning overall. While tutoring generally focuses on specific subject material (the content a student is currently working on in school), EF coaches help students identify the overall processes that support efficient learning. Academic work may often be the focus of this learning, however, many times we work with students on other areas of their lives, such as job success, athletics, social skills development, and/or any major goals they’re interested in tackling.

Are there lower cost opportunities for support through the bodyLITERATE?
The bodyLITERATE is a local, Brooklyn-based, embodied learning organization with the aim to support a wonderful education for all people. We offer many lower cost options and are also happy to work with families to design programs that are affordable and meet their learning needs. In addition to a limited number of scholarships every year, we offer discounts during the summer, group sessions and a free, monthly, research work-group through our Research Initiative. Please contact us for more information.

Additional questions?
contact us:
(917)693 – 9960
info@thebodyliterate.com