Mindfulness in May as this Stressful Year in Education Comes to a Close
- May 18, 2021
- Posted by: The Teachers Academy
- Category: Educator Resources / News
Mindfulness means giving your full attention to where you are and what you are doing at a specific time. It is operating with a purpose rather than going through the motions. Mindfulness is not a novel concept. People practice mindfulness every day without thinking a lot about it. If you have ever driven in treacherous road conditions, you know how important it is to slow down and give your full attention to the road. By being mindful that an unintentional move or tap on the brakes could send your car spinning out of control, you can prevent an accident. When you apply this same level of attention and purpose to whatever you do, you may find that tasks become easier and more enjoyable.
Mindfulness Helps at the End of a Stressful School Year
A little mindfulness can go a long way in helping your students complete this challenging school year. Imagine meeting with parents who may be upset about their child’s grades. If you go into the situation with negative thinking and your heart racing, the meeting may not go well. However, before the meeting, if you can take a few moments to breathe in and out slowly, clear your mind of negativity, and think of the positive that can come from the situation, it is likely that the calm you exhibit will set the stage for a good outcome for students and families.
Learn and Practice Mindfulness
The Teachers Academy offers a Mindfulness in Education course with professional development units for teachers to help you apply mindfulness strategies as you work with students. Mindfulness helps your students to stop and think before they act or react. A simple exercise to help students practice mindfulness is to have everyone be quiet, close their eyes, and take slow deep breaths for about one minute. Ask students to breathe in through their noses and out through their mouths. Speak softly using phrases such as “When you breathe out, let your worries go with each breath, and feel a calmness come over you.” This simple mindful moment can help students relax before they take a test, and they can also practice it whenever they feel anxiety or stress. Mindfulness fits with the Common Core standards Pennsylvania has established for social and emotional development.
The key to mindfulness in education is to learn to be mindful and display mindfulness to those around you. When you give your full attention to your colleagues and students during conversations, approaching your interactions with purpose, your example teaches them to handle stressful situations better.