Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mindfulness in the Classroom Wrap Up

Practicing daily mindfulness in my classroom started experimentally.  I had read enough articles and watched testimonial videos before the school year started that stated mindfulness can rewire our brains. Although it is true, it is difficult to observe your brain's growth very easily.  The way of finding effect is to be aware of how you feel at the moment.  Then, bring yourself back to the calming stage in your mind by observing your own breath.

In my classroom, we have done daily five minute mindfulness practice and gratitude journal.  We often discuss how we feel while we think we are mindful and when mindfulness would help in our lives.  Responses were almost always positive.  Happy.  Calm.  Peaceful.  Of course, there have been some behavior issues here and there.  Hmmm, maybe kids did an okay job on responding to mindfulness.  Yet, there are many other factors that could cause their behavior choices, such as a small number of students, just a lucky year, or most kids might have been mellow to begin with...

On the last day of May in the casual conversation after recess, I discovered the most incredible story just like  How Mindfulness Empowers Us in my own classroom.

Student: The soccer was fun but the first graders were yelling at us and complaining a lot.
Teacher: That is unfortunate.
S: But Pete (not real name) wasn't yelling and complaining.  He was mindful.
T: How so?
S: I noticed that his face was so red and mad and his fists were clenched,  he was just breathing and trying to calm himself.
T: That sounds incredible.  Is that right, Pete?
Pete: It was hard, but I tried my best and I used my mindfulness!
Several Students: Good job, Pete.  I am proud of you.

Consider, that these students are second graders, they did beyond a great job on the critical situation.  Our daily mindfulness practice not only effected on Pete, but students who were surrounding him.  I told my class, "I feel happy when you are proud and happy to use mindfulness."  I conclude that this year's experiment proved me to continue help youngsters' inner peace through mindfulness practice.