Mindfulness in Education
Children are frequently told to “pay attention”, but no one has ever showed them how. Mindfulness can actually train the brain to create new neurological pathways for paying attention. Focus skills help students to gain awareness of their thought patterns and feelings, directly resulting in more positive actions. Instead of reacting automatically, students learn to pause and assess the situation choosing a less reactive, more positive response. Self-regulation is enhanced with mindfulness affecting relationships with friends and family. The increased ability to focus also directly affects performance in schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. Mindfulness improves the social and emotional intelligence of our students and is an effective positive behavior intervention.
A Few Words From Trina
I have experienced first-hand the transformative power of Mindfulness. After experiencing my own success with implementing Mindfulness strategies into my life, I decided to share it with my sons. They enjoyed the lessons and easily caught on to the techniques of noticing their thoughts and emotions and the importance of living in the present moment. In 2008, I decided to try incorporating these skills into my classroom. My students enjoyed the activities and I began to see them using the techniques in the classroom and on the playground to self-regulate. I wanted to learn more, so I began to research how these tools can further be used in the classroom. I became officially trained as a Mindful Teacher and wrote my own Mindfulness curriculum to use with the students that also served to meet the outcomes of the Saskatchewan Health Curriculum. Even today, the Mindfulness strategies are my main form of behavior interventions in my own classroom.
I enjoy sharing these skills with teachers and working in classrooms directly with the students to show how these practises can enrich their experience. Although I find visiting individual classrooms to be the very valuable, talking to students and teachers in a larger setting is also an option.