It has been a few months since I last wrote. I guess I needed to be mindful about starting a new school year and doing it in a mindful way. I knew going in that this would be the year that I started and ended with mindfulness with my students and wanted to be sure that I did so in a meaningful way.
It has been great so far. I started the first week of school teaching the students about their brains and talking to them about what stresses them out. It always amazes me how much 11 and 12 year olds carry around. After talking to them about how their brains work and how we can make them work even better, I began teaching them some mindful techniques.
We start every class period off with a mindful minute. The students have responded so well to this practice. I still am working on getting 100% participation each day, but I have to say that I do have very close to that. Many students are very disappointed if for some reason we are not able to do the minute to start the class. I try to make sure that is never the case, but life in middle school is always unpredictable.
I also have “Mindful Mondays”. I know that I have mentioned all of this before, but it is worth mentioning again. Each Monday, I give the students a mini lesson on mindfulness and them let them do a meditation or other exercise to work on being more mindful. I have had the students write about their thoughts on our exercises and have been so happy to hear that students are finding ways to fit them into their days even outside of my class. The best thing is that recently at parent teacher conferences, a mother shared with me that her son was trying to teach her mindfulness exercises to help her to relieve stress.
So, now my goal is to be more mindful about sharing what I am doing in my classroom on a more regular basis. I have seen such a difference in my students since incorporating mindfulness into my classroom and know that it is a tool that will benefit them throughout their lives.