Studies reveal that mindfulness in education can minimize the consequences of stress and boost the kids’ capacity to stay engaged.
Mindfulness in the classroom is more important than ever. It’s because, at times, our students are worried, anxious, and stressed. We need to keep them calm and we should learn to control their behavior.
This is how mindfulness works.
Thus, as a teacher, I should say, one of the important things you should incorporate into your classroom is mindfulness. How do you integrate mindfulness in the classroom?
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment. It is a human ability to focus on something and to be fully aware of what’s going on around us.
When we are mindful we observe our thoughts and actions. In a sense, we are aware that we exist and that we must take action under certain conditions.
Being mindful means taking notice of the thoughts that come into our heads. We focus. We analyze things.
You can be thinking by now if you’ve been an effective teacher. Thus, you’re being mindful of your teaching skills and the outcomes.
Mindfulness: an ingredient to sustaining students’ attention
Mindfulness in the classroom means paying attention and learning effectively. When students are attentive, good things happen.
It’s about teaching students skills for relaxing themselves when their emotions are out of control.
“Mindfulness teaches you the skill of paying attention to the present by noticing when your mind wanders off. Come back to your breath. It’s a place where we can rest and settle our minds.” – Suzanne Westbrook, a teacher at Emory University.
Mindfulness is a simple and effective way for relaxing the mind and dealing with stress. And children can do it as much as we adults do, if not better!
Even if we ask other teachers what they’d like most in the world, they’ll likely tell you increased student engagement. And student engagement is one of the best results of mindfulness.
How to Integrate Mindfulness in the Classroom?
Here are smart strategies to incorporate mindfulness in the classroom. These tactics can also help students achieve mental health which they ultimately need in order to learn at their best.
With mindfulness comes full concentration.
1. Create a safe learning environment
Making a secure learning environment for our students may begin with taking some breathing room for them. Make them feel relaxed and safe.
A secure classroom promotes meaningful connections that can calm students. It makes them aware that they are in a space where they should listen and participate.
In addition to that, the good relationships we establish in the classroom can help students settle down every time the class begins. They know in particular when to chat with one another and when to stay focused.
2. Practice counted breathing exercises
When students are uneasy, it’s very transparent. They yawn. They stare into nothingness. It turns out, they can’t focus. It’s high time to try mindful breathing.
Some of our students suffer from anxiety. They have worries that keep them distracted and disengaged.
Usually, before I begin the lesson, I ask my students to take deep breaths with me in a calm tone of my voice. I tell them to take five deep breaths through their nose and to feel their breath.
Then, I allow them to hold their breath for three seconds before exhaling through their mouths for five seconds.
Essentially, as they do it, they calm down. Once everyone in the class is settled, it’s the perfect time to begin the lesson. It will just take some time and you’ll be amazed by its results.
3. Bring meditation into the classroom
Can pupils benefit from the relatively easy act of attentive meditation? How is this even possible?
Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from meditation. Kids can highly benefit from it too.
Meditation is undeniably an effective therapy that can be brought into the classroom. It can be done in 10 minutes. You can ask your students to sit down and be quiet for a while.
Research shows that meditation in the classroom can increase student engagement the same way it does with employees and in the world of business.
4. Promote self-awareness and self-regulation
Being mindful is being aware of one’s self and what’s around. Ask the students to do mindful thinking so they’ll be more aware of their thoughts and actions. They benefit from understanding the distinction between dissatisfaction and rage.
With mindfulness, students know how to regulate their behavior and they aim to work harmoniously with their peers.
It may surprise you to hear that promoting self-awareness and self-regulation is already used in the classroom, with considerable results.
Teaching self-awareness to students is another best practice of incorporating mindfulness in the classroom. Surely, students will benefit from this integral skill.
Essentially, self-awareness is the starting point for social and emotional learning. It’s about teaching students how to understand and be mindful of their thoughts, actions, and values. It’s integral throughout the students’ journey.
The route to self-awareness and self-regulation won’t be easy. Students need to be honest with how they feel and should recognize their emotions. Moreover, to be more effective, students should also identify their strengths and weaknesses.
5. Promote effective communication
Having mindful communication in the classroom helps students become expressive of their thoughts and ideas.
As they communicate with you and with their peers, they become more observant of how others feel which in turn makes them more sensitive to others’ feelings.
With this practice, students are more responsive and develop healthy relationships in the classroom.
Effective communication in the classroom opens for deliberate responses that likewise allow you to probe into what your students are thinking and expecting.
Thus, it has become a two-way street that acknowledges differences and uniqueness. This makes students understand that they can work and strategize together.
Benefits of mindfulness in the classroom
- Students are more focused.
- Student engagement is improved.
- Tasks are done with greater confidence.
- Good relationships are established.
- Students keep track academically.
- Misbehavior is reduced.
- Students are more enthusiastic to learn.
<<< Watch the video below for more tips!
Nowadays, mindfulness is such a trend and our innate ability. But, it’s essential in the classroom where a mix of diverse needs and personalities abound. Students should pay attention to their thoughts, actions, and surroundings.
When students are being mindful, they know how to relax their minds and body. This allows them to keep track of their academics and increase their performance.