On a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Calm.com here, talking about our beginning interaction with mindfulness and what I’m expecting going forward.
My principal is a logical man, and when given information in sensible manner, will listen, and make his decisions on that information, not emotion. If the information is given in an emotional manner, it will be listened to, but not too much more.
I keep waiting for him to come into my classroom to see my students breathing and finding their calm. I keep waiting for him to ask, “Where’s the research?”
First, from MIT, I have a great article that talks about how two separate studies done with middle school student. Both studies show that students who engaged in mindfulness activities were less stressed, dealt with their stress better, and in one study, the amygdala, did not fire up as much during stressful situations in those students who were given mindfulness training
The next article is titled “Are you 50 and Willing to Get the Brain of a 25-Year-Old?”.
It deals with your brain and how practicing mindfulness can actually cause your brain to thicken with those areas dealing with memory, learning, and empathy!
The best part of this research, the amygdala!
Plus, the brains of the new mediators saw shrinkage of the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. This reduction in size of the amygdala correlated to reduced stress levels in those participants.
This shows SO MUCH PROMISE with my students! If they can get into this kind of thinking, trying to find their calm in the storm of their minds, wow. So many good things, both mentally AND physically can take place!
So, we’ll be breathing tomorrow, practicing our mindfulness to get ourselves focused for the day.
And who knows, maybe we’ll make our brains work FOR us too! 🙂
October 8, 2019 at 11:07 pm
I love this classroom work of yours, Darin. Brain research and the practice of it in our classroom is so important. What wonderful thing to have your students experience mindfulness practice in your classroom.
October 9, 2019 at 10:56 am
If we can keep the habit up in the face of all that is “school”, I’ll feel like I’ve actually accomplished something this year! 🙂
October 8, 2019 at 11:58 pm
Love how you inserted the hastags into your narrative. Helping middle schoolers find their calm in the storm of their minds is a worthy endeavor and something they can continue to use throughout their lives.
October 9, 2019 at 10:55 am
I can only hope! If I can help one of my students dealing with things outside of my control, then the classroom time spent is well worth it! 🙂
January 30, 2020 at 7:57 am
I love this. I’ve subbed for a couple of counselors and my lessons were about mindfulness, a word I wasn’t really aware of until then. I’ve embraced it more and more and have used some strategies in other classes. Now, to get myself into that mode. This story was a reminder, thank you! 🙂
March 25, 2020 at 6:47 am
Since I began subbing this year I’ve come across lessons on mindfulness and have used them in other classrooms. They are SO powerful. I think in this video/computer age with instant noises, sounds, visuals, the students (though they try to fight it) really like these activities that fill us with peace. I softly played calm nature music the last week of my long term sub job and saw a marked difference in behavior…it got better and the kids worked harder. 🙂
March 25, 2020 at 9:53 pm
I would agree. Soft music tends to soothe the savage beast, whether they choose to admit to it or not! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
March 7, 2021 at 11:51 am
The sceptics often think of mindfulness is mumbo jambo, sitting and humming. The science behind it is strong though. Having mindfulness strategies and growing daily habits is so helpful for the children and adults. We have daily mindfulness practice in my class. Some of my students are so experienced that they take turns running the practice.
March 8, 2021 at 7:58 am
Is there a pattern you use with your practice? A sequence of events they follow throughout? Just curious. There is no right or wrong way to do things, just different! ❤
March 8, 2021 at 11:24 am
We have different practices from British paws.b program – like petal practice, finger breathing, torchlight of attention, mindful walking etc, that some of the kids have practiced since second grade. The students can choose which practice they want to lead, so we may have the same practice several days in a row. We do the mindfulness practice in the morning after the morning circle and before we start with learning. When I lead it’s about 3-5 minutes. When the kids lead it is shorter. Our upper school teachers use other practices.
March 8, 2021 at 1:36 pm
Very nice. I need to educate myself more in this practice because I see it helping some of my students. Some think it is just a time to screw around, which makes life difficult, but a girl told me last week, “I really needed this to clear my head!” 🙂
January 20, 2022 at 7:54 am
They do help. I think we all respond to both according to our inherent nature.