Teaching Mindfulness Techniques to Students
Posted On:
Monday, February 20, 2017
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At the start of the school year Principal Nikki Reed elicited the expertise of Kate Forest, Registered Yoga Specialist and Mindful Living and Mindful Learning Consultant, to lead staff in their first Professional Development Day.  As an extension of this workshop Reed invited Forest to return and share her mindfulness practices with students.  According to Reed,  “Over the course of two days Kate had the opportunity to visit each 2nd and 3rd grade classroom for approximately 15 minutes to model and share self-care moments.”

Reed explained, “Many teachers have incorporated the strategies they learned from the initial workshop with Kate into their daily classroom routine to help students release stress, build focus and to take care of their social, emotional and physical health. So for some classrooms Kate’s visit  reaffirmed and built on what is being implementing and for others it allowed teachers and students to learn how mindful practices can be incorporated into the daily routine to assist students to be more productive and academically focused.”

In Mrs. Jennifer Potter’s 2nd grade classroom students sat quietly on the rug and attentively listened as Forest explained, “Mrs. Reed cares about each one. You are all beautiful human beings and she  asked me to share ways you can take care of yourself, so you learn better, be nicer to people and be kinder to yourself.”

Forest went on to explain how we all experience a variety of emotions  that can block our minds from learning such as feeling frustrated, sad, impatient, grumpy, lonely and angry. “Today we are going to learn self-care skills to help you feel better inside, if you are feeling any of these emotions.”

Under the direction of Forest, students were eager to practice various self care techniques. “If your mind is getting foggy or you feel frustrated, you can pause, take deep breaths for 10-20 seconds and rest. If you are sitting you can also stand and stretch,” explained Forest.  “ These moments of quiet connection can help your mind calm and focus.  And just like you have to practice what you learn academically, the more you practice these self care techniques the more they will become part of your day.”

At the end of the two days Reed was confident that her goal to expose Chapin Street students to self care techniques to assist them in dealing with stressful situations, in and out of school, was met. “Following Kate’s visit our school adjustment counselor, Ashley Antoine, will be following up by doing joint mini lessons in classrooms with teachers for carry over. It is important that we prepare our students with lifelong mindfulness skills to make them kinder, happier and accepting adults. They are our future.”



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