Like all teachers I am excited for summer to arrive. However, my excitement is different this year. I am definitely still looking forward to coffee time in the morning with my husband, taking my kids to the pool, and camping trips where we lose cell phone coverage but I also add to the list starting my next mindfulness course, planning further mindfulness implementation for my classroom in August, and solidifying a daily mindfulness practice.
Why the difference? Because I am really starting to see how mindfulness is changing the lives of my students and that of my own. A couple of important mile markers on my mindfulness journey have been reached since posting my last blog. I finished my Mindfulness Fundamentals course from MindfulSchools.org and I have had my first round of sharing mindfulness practices in a core content classroom (math). Yes, you read that correctly, math! Along with these events I, along with three of my Teen Leadership students from first semester, were asked to speak to a leadership group in our community visiting the school district. I was to explain my course and how it grew students to reach their potential. My students were to discuss what impact the course had had on them and what they still practice even though the course is over. We do a lot of important leadership development and social-emotional learning in the course but guess what 2 of the 3 said was the most significant part for them? Yes, you guessed it, mindfulness practices. If this is my students’ response how can I not be compelled to grow it?
Mindfulness is also growing me. I now keep a gratitude journal which helps me to concentrate on the positive and see all the little things that matter in my life. Each day I list things that I am grateful for. It doesn’t take much of my time but has a significant impact on my attitude. I also use mindfulness breathing to create a space between what happens to me and how I respond. Creating that space between a stimulus and my response gives me time to choose my words rather than blurting. I’m hoping with such practice I am becoming a better teacher, mom, wife, person.
This week’s challenge: Summer is coming so take some time to learn how mindfulness practice can grow you. You might come back for the new school year a better version of yourself. Here are a couple of links to launch from: