I have practiced mindfulness throughout the years in my 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms. I found mindfulness beneficial for me and figured it was something my scholars could benefit from as well.
The classroom today is a busy place, but so are school, home, and the world. Students very rarely know how to stop, sit still, or quietly in order to center and ground themselves in the present moment to become focused and prepared for the day or lesson ahead. They don’t always know how to self-monitor their emotions or stress level. Mindfulness can help.
Every year, students share with me that they find mindfulness to be a way to deal with emotions and also a way to get grounded, focused, and prepared for the time in my classroom. They sometimes ask for me to start their time with me with mindfulness even if it is just for a few minutes. I have also had many scholars reflect that mindfulness is something that they will take with them out into the world to help them with everyday life.
I see a definite shift in behavior and focus in my scholars when we practice mindfulness.
I led a lesson on mindfulness in the classroom for a group of teachers ranging in levels from elementary to high school, and we all agreed that it is something that can be used and beneficial for EVERY age group. It’s about creating a practice in the classroom through modeling and cultivating a safe environment where scholars are willing to let themselves become quiet and still. It can begin with learning about the breath, and how to monitor breathing to determine how they are feeling in the present moment. Focusing on the breath, and learning how to breathe deeply and intentionally can be the foundation for a healthy mindfulness practice.
I encourage all educators to learn more about the benefits of mindfulness for themselves and for their scholars.
Links to resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVA2N6tX2cg, https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/55583060/posts/3281, https://themindfulenglishclassroom.com/2019/04/05/how-to-introduce-mindfulness-into-the-classroom/, https://wordpress.com/read/search?q=mindfulness%20in%20the%20classroom&focus=1