"When the class won’t settle down and we find ourselves slipping into negative projections, we can learn to feel the emotions in our body as sensations.
Instead of circulating in our frustrating thoughts we can drop down into our bodies and figure out what scripted, learned responses the chaos in the classroom is bringing up for us."
- Daniel Rechtschaffen, The Way of Mindful Education, 2014
“Instruction is good for a child;
but example is worth more.”
― Alexandre Dumas
When we slow down and model self reflection, self-awareness, self regulation and self care, we are modelling important life long skills to our students.
Setting up the framework for our students to learn and practice these skills, students can then begin to understand the connection between their body, how they feel, how they are interacting and impacting themselves, others and how their breath can regulate them through the day.
Select something as a cue for you to stop, and take a mindful moment anytime.
Take some mindful breaths with the ringing of the bell between classes or as a message comes in from the intercom in your classroom.
Each time you sit down to check your email, take three mindful breaths before opening your inbox.
When you are stopped at a traffic light, put your hand on your belly and count how many breaths you take while you wait for the light to turn green.
When you arrive home from work, take three mindful breaths before putting key in keyhole.
“I had a challenging morning before coming to school,
I’m going to take a breath and just relax
for a minute before we begin."
"I need a moment right now,
the class is really rowdy.
Some mindfulness will help me."-
"Let's get ready for our test by practicing
one minute of mindful breathing together."
" Time to transition to math/reading, etc.
Let's practice some mindfulness before we continue.”
Practice for a few minutes, or as little as 3 breaths.
You can also use this short video in
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
— Anne Lamott
Scheduling Me Time for your class
Think about a space in your class where you can create a mindful corner.
Somewhere students can go to practice some mindfulness that may help them relax, regulate their emotions, regain focus, ...
Whether a few comfy cushions, a blanket, bean bag, or a chair and a small desk, create your own little space together.
Gratitude wall (Cut out pictures of different things the children are grateful for and hang them or put them in a binder and place them in your mindful corner)
Timer: Sensory liquid bottle or Sand Timer
"Research convincingly shows that, when compared with their less grateful peers, grateful youth are happier and more satisfied with their lives, friends, family, neighborhood, and selves. They also report more hope, engagement with their hobbies, higher GPAs, and less envy, depression, and materialism."
Daily dose of gratitude is good medecine for all!
Intentionally practicing gratitude in any grade level at any school can improve the culture of a classroom.
When we practice gratitude regularly, we are rewiring our brain to scan the world looking for things to be grateful for.
“It is not happiness that brings us gratitude,
it is gratitude that brings us happiness.”
Practice gratitude with students every day or once a week. Consistency is what counts!
How to talk to Kids about Gratitude
Spend time in nature
Cup of coffee or tea
Enjoy the sun or a breeze, walk
Get plenty of sleep
Get a hug
Explore diffrent ways to nourish the Self.
Morning, mid-day, evening self care habit ideas.
Any technique that supports a sense of comfort, joy, peace, and optimism can make a valuable contribution to quieting the mind.