Mindfulness in the Classroom: March 2014

Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone who Teaches Anything

By Deborah Schoeberlein

This book is a wonderful tool for educators as it follows a teacher throughout the day and describes in an easy style how to bring mindfulness inside and outside the classroom. By sharing all the wonderful benefits of mindfulness, and step by step instructions, this book is fantastic for anyone who teaches.

  1. I always knew mindfulness had many benefits such as improving focus and awareness, but I did not know that it “promotes academic performance and fosters pro-social behaviors and healthy relationships” for students.
  2. I learned, and enjoy, a technique called “Take 5:Mindful Breathing”. A technique to bring mindfulness into your day by paying attention to your breath and then kindly returning your attention back to it once you start thinking of something else. It is easy and a simple way to bring mindfulness in a reasonable time, something many teachers do not have.
  3. I learned that “intentions and mindfulness reinforce each other. Intention focuses attention of a particular objective, and mindfulness harnesses awareness to sustain your focus.”   That is a complex statement but something that makes sense.

One thing I would like to learn more about is the above-mentioned comment about intentions and mindfulness reinforcing each other. I have been setting intentions each month of this new year as well as practicing mindfulness. However, I never knew there was a correlation to mindfulness. Schoeberlein spends a lot of time explaining this in her book, but I want to learn more about bringing it into my counseling sessions. I would also like to learn more about teaching students to do this when setting counseling goals and helping them set realistic achievable goals but using mindfulness rather than typical goals I hear such as “become a NFL player”.

This book is so wonderful that I can easily apply it to my personal life. One thing I have done in the past week that I learned is about being mindful during my commute to school. Schoeberlein writes about taking notice of what you see on your drive to work and labeling as opposed to “spacing out” and day-dreaming while driving-which is how I usually drive. I have had the same commute for many years so it would typically be a time that I am just thinking about the past or the future. Now, that I have been mindful, at times, because I forget it is helping my day and awareness of what is going on around me.

I am more aware of mindfulness and how often I am not mindful, especially during my yoga practice. I will set an intention before each practice, which I do in the studio but not at home. Now that I know there is a correlation between intentions and mindfulness, I hope to utilize this on my mat. Often when I set an intention at the studio it is for someone else, not for myself. Never really thought about that until now, which is sad I guess. Now, especially at home, I will set an intention for myself. By setting an intention to be more mindful during my practice, perhaps I can deepen my practice and make it even better than it has been.

The community would greatly benefit from reading this book and brining mindfulness into daily life. Not only if you are an educator, but every social being. As mentioned earlier one of the benefits of mindfulness is “fostering pro-social behaviors and healthy relationships”. By being present in a conversation or amongst social beings we are focused, compassionate, empathetic, kind, calm, and our overall being is supported.

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