I am a science and math teacher. But I am also a mentor and that means it’s important that I use my role to teach important life lessons. This might include how to persevere despite difficulties, how to develop a growth mindset and using mindfulness strategies to develop better mental health practices.
Today, the Grade 11s and 10s tried meditating for the first time. We used the website Stop Breathe Think (http://www.stopbreathethink.org/) and did two short 5-minute sessions. I was initially nervous, as I wasn’t sure how well it would be received. To set the tone, we turned off the lights, pulled the blinds down and laid on yoga mats. I gave three simple conditions that they must follow:
- Do not touch or disturb anyone around you.
- Respect other people’s right to participate.
- Do not make any noise or talk aloud. Keep as silent as possible.
It actually worked out quite well! In general, everyone was fairly respectful. The Grade 11s liked it and even stayed on their mats for an extra minute. However, the Grade 10s were a bit of a mixed bag. Some of them were not interested and wanted to listen to music*, while others were happy to just relax with the lights off.
Ahhh well, you can’t win them all!
Have you used mindfulness strategies or lessons in your class?
Looking to find more mindfulness exercises for the upcoming year. Please share any good strategies or resources if you have any!
*I gave them permission since everyone had been working very hard for the past hour and a half, studying for our first upcoming test.