Being a former educator of six years, I have witnessed first hand how myriad undesirable student behaviors are directly tied to the student’s learning or domestic challenges. In many cases it is both.
The 2019-2020 school year was my last year in the classroom. Ending in an unusual way with distance learning due to COVID-19, it began in an unusual way too: the middle school ISSP program disappeared into a vortex before the first nine weeks had ended.
In doing much reflecting, and seeing how many teachers had challenges managing large classes with the absence of ISSP, I asked myself, “What if ALL schools across the nation had the resources to replace ISSP with a mindfulness program?” What I have experienced in managing sometimes difficult behaviors in the classroom, is just a microcosm of what educators experience nationally.
Creating a culture of mindfulness in the classroom, would create more confidence in students, increase emotional intelligence at an early age and allow the space for quality education to be absorbed to its fullest potential.Jeanece Lyles
What is Mindfulness?
If you are not familiar, mindfulness is the practice of being in the now, moment to moment, without judgment. Sounds pretty simple, right? However, achieving this takes constant practice, but the benefits are plentiful.
Even though all students would gain something valuable, here are the ten reasons I believe students with behavior challenges would benefit the most from practicing mindfulness in school:
- Calm the mind.
- Teach self awareness.
- Reduce stress triggers.
- Improve focus by learning to direct and sustain attention appropriately.
- Improve communication and relationships.
- Allow students to tap into their emotions and thoughts by reflecting vs. reacting.
- Develop effective conflict-resolution skills among peers.
- Equip students to approach challenges with less judgment.
- Enhance mood.
- Create overall improved psychological and physical well-being.
More importantly, building a foundation while students are young, could reap long-lasting benefits beyond the adolescent years and into adulthood.