Teaching can be a stressful and demanding profession, and it’s important for teachers to take care of their own well-being in order to provide the best possible learning environment for their students. One way to do this is by incorporating mindfulness techniques into the classroom.
In the classroom this concept can help students who have a hard time paying attention, feel anxious, or struggle to control emotions. Teachers find mindfulness beneficial during transition times, when kids often have trouble shifting their focus between tasks.Here are some mindfulness techniques that teachers can use to improve teaching and learning:
Breathing of Meditation
Encourage students to take a few deep breaths before starting a new task or activity. Creating a moment of stillness helps to prepare the brain for new learning. This can help them focus and calm their minds. Awake and Mindful supplies these great kid-appropriate meditation videos.
Encourage students to listen mindfully to each other during class discussions. This can help them develop empathy and understanding for others. Sometimes a walk outside or around the school in silence is an effective strategy. As you walk, direct children to focus, listen carefully, and observe what’s happening while they move through the different spaces.
Incorporate movement breaks into the day, such as stretching or yoga poses. This can help students release tension and improve their focus. Cosmic Kids Yoga (Grades PreK-1) or Yoga with Adriene (Grades 2-12) offer free yoga videos for kids, which incorporate storytelling and mindfulness.
Encourage students to reflect on things they are grateful for each day. This can help them develop a positive mindset and improve their overall well-being. Teaching Expertise shares 29 easy-to-implement activities you can use in the classroom. Check out the M&M (or Skittle) game!
Encourage students to write in a journal each day, reflecting on their thoughts and feelings. This can help them develop self-awareness and improve their emotional regulation. Don’t set limits on the content or format of their writing, just encourage them to express themselves how they choose. They can make lists, write poems, or simply jot down words and phrases that mean something to them.
Provide coloring sheets and encourage students to color mindfully, paying attention to the colors and patterns they are creating. Play calming music while they work. This can help students develop focus and relaxation skills. Print free Mandala pages here!
By incorporating these mindfulness techniques into the classroom, teachers can create a more positive and supportive learning environment for their students, while also improving their own well-being.
Grow Your Mindfulness Toolbox!
Ed Technology Specialists offers a great course! Check out Mindfulness to Improve Teaching and Learning. In this engaging interactive course participants will:
- Learn and complete exercises in mindfulness.
- Research, develop, and implement meaningful mindfulness exercises for students.
- Explore and apply digital tools to set goals and track progress.
- Collaborate via online communities to discuss and share lessons and strategies.