There are a plethora of programs out there that claim to offer schools an efficient and effective strategy for addressing students' social and emotional demands and discipline needs. Unfortunately, providing the school staff with trainings and handbooks only goes so far.
One thing is certain, as we continue our work with the teachers it is glaringly apparent that they NEED permission to pause. They NEED permission to reflect. They NEED permission to understand themselves better so they are better able to handle the rigors of teaching.
Taking the time to practice mindfulness is an excellent opportunity for teachers to stop, sit quietly, and bring awareness to their emotions and how those emotions may be affecting them physiologically.
I didn't know quite to expect as I walked in the front doors of Crockett Elementary in South Phoenix, Arizona. What I had heard was this was a low-income school with a high population of refugees and they were all in for mindfulness training for the entire school.
By early October the children have been taught four different secular mindfulness techniques. They have been encouraged to choose one technique that supports them in focusing their mind and calming their bodies. This mindful snapshot is about one of the first practices I teach each class.