To all the educators out there… Have you caught on to the newest craze yet? If you haven’t practised Mindfulness yourself, or used it in the classroom, it’s time to get onto it! I started using Smiling Minds in my classroom at the beginning of the year, and the level of anxiety and nervous tension around the learning space has decreased dramatically. With anxiety levels rising amongst young children, the least educators and schools can offer, is a safe and mindful place students can go when they need to escape.
Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It’s a simple tool that gives a sense of calm, clarity and contentment. – See more at: http://smilingmind.com.au/blog/#!/category/background/what-is-smiling-mind
The way I introduced the idea of Mindfulness to my students was quite simple. I showed them an image of the brain, and what it looks like before and after meditation. They were blown away! This was as simple as using a google image. I also had a chat with the students about what makes us feel ‘nervous’ sometimes and what can trigger those ‘yucky feelings’ in the tummy. This was kind of like a ‘circle time,’ session. The students were open to sharing their thoughts and feelings, and this helped each of them feel comfortable, and most importantly, ‘normal.’
I then concluded the discussion with, “What are some things we could do when we feel nervous or anxious?” The typcial answers came up, and then I showed the students the Smiling Minds website. We spoke about the benifits of meditation and how it’s a healthy practise.
When we started our first session, students were settled within seconds. It wasn’t an expectation that they close their eyes, or lay on their back, all they had to do was ensure they were in a comfortable position. We now begin each day with a Smiling Minds session. The classroom climate has become much more calm and most importantly, positive. It’s amazing to see the students who would normally get ‘clouded thoughts’ slowly, think more clearly. The kids are now asking for it!
Smiling Minds is a fabulous web and iPhone/iPad App that follows a clear and sequential program, depending on age groups. Try it out for yourself! You won’t regret it. I know I love it… And so do my students!