Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mindfulness Blog

For those of you who would like a little refresher in mindfulness, I just discovered a blog on Modern Mindfulness that I thought you might enjoy.  I'm passing along a link to one particular post on What's taught in classrooms that resonated particularly with me.  Here's an excerpt:

I have visited many classrooms to teach mindfulness in schools. I have paid close attention (paying attention is my specialty, after all) to what the teachers tell the students. I’ve noticed a pattern, something generally true in all the classes I’ve joined. By and large, teachers teach the same two points most often. They ask the students to focus, and they ask the students to relax. They teach these two subjects more often than any others.
“Focus” is voiced with the phrases,“Pay attention,” “Let’s begin,” “Eyes on me,” among others, and also simply by saying a certain student’s name who isn’t concentrating.
“Relax” is voiced with the phrases, “Settle down,” “Calm down,” “It’s okay,” among others, and also simply by saying a certain student’s name who isn’t calm.
I was very happy to find that mindfulness is already the most-taught subject in public education.
But tellin’ ain’t teachin’.
Teachers rarely teach their students how to focus and relax. No teacher would merely tell their students to understand math. Mindfulness, the basic skills required for learning, must be taught like other subjects, with careful instruction and time for practice.
Explicit instruction - that's nothing new to us, but I liked the framework of strategies for focus and strategies for relaxing - how many times have I heard myself use some of the phrases he quoted!   What are your thoughts on mindfulness for this new school year?

P.S. If you do go to their blog, there's a place where you can sign up for emailed updates.  Also, do think about leaving a comment on their blog (click on an individual post to get to the comment section) - I know from experience that it's an encouragement to those of us who blog!

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