A couple of months ago I started introducing meditation and mindfulness into my classes. Students must first greet me then sit quietly enjoying some time in their own headspaces. This initiative was brought about because I found that the first thing students were doing after saying hi was engaging with their electronic devices instead of getting in the right frame of mind to tackle a new learning area. So I guess it’s like hitting the reset button on a nintendo (#80’s baby). I started off by introducing the count back method, but from ten, not 100. This was incorporated with mindful breathing, and yes, I had to tell the students that this was not meant to make them feel light headed. This had mixed effects on the numerous classes, but what I did notice was that the later in the day, the more it has a positive effect in quieting the classroom. I suggest trying with classes that seem mature enough to at least give it a go.
The Break Through
I still practice this with all my classes and most enjoy having the time to themselves, as brief as it is. However, yesterday one student said to me that he gave the full count back method a go when he had trouble sleeping. He said it made his body ‘feel funny’ and then, just as he was thinking that it didn’t have any effect, he said that he didn’t remember anything after that. He fell into deep sleep. We went on, as a class, to discuss how this method would be very helpful during times of stress and, as experienced by this Year 9 boy, in helping one get to sleep. I also added into the discussion how imoortant this skill is in making individuals ‘tougher’, not necessarily physically, but mentally. These are the moments I strive for as a teacher! The realization that what we do in school will help in the ‘real world’.
#mindful #authenticteaching #resiliance
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