As a teacher, you have to really want change. You have to really believe in mindfulness to be successful in the implementation. What is mindfulness? I explain it like this: Mindfulness is an acute awareness of the here and now. It’s being aware of yourself, your surroundings, your feelings, your senses and of those around you. It’s the awareness of how you are feeling and how you can make yourself feel better or to silently celebrate these good feelings and pass them on to others in kind and gentle ways. As teachers, we deal with enormous stress. It is such a busy, all-consuming job. Embracing mindfulness starts with you. SO many teachers I know are burnt out or on the road to being burnt out. Why? Well, only they would know their personal situation but a lot of it has to deal with the class that you have, the busy nature of your personal life, and all the little things that teachers have to deal with day after day.
I believe many people live their life on auto-pilot. How can you change that? By stopping and reflecting. By carving out ME time. By slowing down. By asking yourself, “Do I really need to get that done right now?” “Why am I teaching that?” “Is there a more effective way to teach that where I can facilitate the learning and not be directly teaching all the time?” Once you have changed your mindset, you will be amazed at the engagement of the students. Students feel your stress.
I got to thinking about how I could come in and “do” mindfulness with a class for a couple of sessions and have teachers carry on. I needed something tangible and not philosophical so that teachers could implement the program right away. I decided to create an Interactive Mindful Notebook.
This notebook is suitable for 1st-5th grade.
By the end, we hope that they will see things like “I am kind” as one of the best things about themselves.
Once students have become aware of their own feelings, habits, and more, we can turn to others’ feelings. For younger students, maybe the people who help in your school may be a great place to start. You can turn it to people in your family, your friends, or whatever is appropriate for your grade level.
There are three different varieties of pictures for the section on Growing My Character for different age levels. If you need a poster set to help you to teach (in kid friendly language) what these character traits mean, you may like this poster set that I created.
Shelley has been teaching for over 20 years. She has a passion for literacy instruction and for social learning skills. Shelley wanted to be a teacher since she was in 2nd grade and she strives to make learning fun and engaging so that kids love learning, too. You can find The Write Stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.