Mindfulness in Education

August 1, 2016
Trinidad State Beach

Trinidad State Beach

With less than a month before the new school year begins my mind is racing and my stomach feels that twinge of anxiety and excitement.  This has always been my favorite time of year.  I can sit alone in my classroom, listening to music, diffusing lavender oil into the air, and wistfully run my fingers across the rich colors of chalk that I will turn into images from Greek mythology later in the year.  There are no schedule bells, papers to grade, or parent emails.  It’s just me, in a room of possibility with crystal rainbows on the wall.

As the first day of school approaches, the impending chaos seems inevitable.  How do we find and maintain a path of calm and connection once our rooms fill with 25 sparkling, animated souls? Even more difficult, is helping those very students focus and develop habits of mind that foster friendships, peace, and learning.

I don’t know much about mindfulness in education.  I’ve heard it mentioned here and there–just enough to pique my interest.  As I understand it, it is the practice of paying attention in the present moment.  Of course there is more to it than that.  The founder, Jon Kabat-Zinn has been sharing this approach since the early nineties.

Organizations such as mindfulnessforschools.org offer resources and training, including a couple free starter lessons geared towards K-5 educators.

Below I’ve included a mash up of some sources that I’ve enjoyed reading and viewing (I used blendspace).  Are these techniques something you might consider implementing in your classroom?

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