Mindfulness helps with focus and readiness

We all want our students to be able to focus, concentrate, and pay attention. As a mother, who has also worked with children for years, I know what a challenge this can be. Modern society has only made this task more difficult with the increasing presence of technology and media. With regular mindful practice, students are more readily available to slow down, focus and concentrate in the classroom. Mindfulness can bring enjoyment and clarity to a young and busy mind.

Integrating mindfulness into morning, or after lunch/recess routines helps students to ‘reset’ their thoughts and provides them with a moment of relaxation and calm before digging into their work.

Mindfulness helps student’s take a ‘deeper look’

Metacognition (thinking about our thinking) and reflection are increasingly being recognized as foundational tools for learning. Mindfulness is one way to stand back and reflect on our thought processes and discover the meaning and value of our experiences.

Student’s who practice mindfulness will hone their concentration, reflective  and contemplative skills. They will gain the skills to bring a more open and focused mind to the classroom and their interactions with others.

Mindfulness for active listening and valuing silence

Schools are loud places! Much of the noise in a school is beneficial and necessary but it can also be overwhelming and over stimulating. Mindfulness is a great way to start teaching young students about the value of silence and active listening skills.

Our society often undervalues listening. Our ability to actively listen to one another is impacted by our easily distracted minds and eagerness to contribute to a conversation. As teachers, we can model listening skills by allowing long pauses and silences in conversations with out students to show them that we accept silence and giving space to form thoughts. Mindfulness, as a daily practice, helps to hone these skills–for teachers and students.

Mindful listening is a skill that takes time to acquire. Using videos like the one below can help students focus their thoughts as they practice mindful listening.

Sources: Nhat Hanh & Weare (2017). Happy Teachers Change the World : a guide for cultivating mindfulness in education.  Published by Parallex Press.