A couple of blogs ago I talked about presenting my learning on mindfulness in the classroom to my colleagues. Shortly after that I had one of those colleagues, Jennifer, who is teaching her students about executive functions (paying attention, organizing and planning, initiating tasks and staying focused, regulating emotions, and self-monitoring) approach me about visiting her classroom to share a mindfulness exercise. I can’t tell you how excited I was when she asked! She was currently working with students on regulating emotions and felt, based on what I had shared, that mindfulness would be a good fit.
We set up a time to collaborate. Collaboration is such a great thing, people share their knowledge with each other to create something greater than if you were to do it alone. I was learning from Jennifer and she was learning from me. The product would be one that could empower our students. Awesome! We decided that I would do a small piece on brain education and then I would explain what mindfulness was followed by providing an experience called anchor breathing. While I knew it was a good exercise after having done it with my own class I was a little nervous because these were not “my” students. I had not spent a semester building relational capacity with them. Would Jennifer’s students be open to the experience?
After creating a plan which included some of the new material from my Mindfulness Fundamentals course, meeting again with Jennifer for feedback, and running through the lesson in my head multiple times the day arrived. Honestly, I was kind of nervous but Jennifer’s students trusted me and became a receptive audience (pictured below is me leading the mindfulness session). After the lesson I asked students to reflect individually on the experience and how they could see themselves using anchor breathing outside of the class. Later that week Jennifer shared the students’ responses with me. Here are a few things they said:
“Anchor breathing would be great to use before a test, a competition like wrestling, or before a job interview. It will help you relax and focus. The most important thing I learned from the mindfulness activity was how to do anchor breathing, I just used it during a test today and it worked great.”