Teachers who hope to bring mindfulness into their classrooms should start their own practice first. Like any academic content, you should be knowledgeable about mindfulness to incorporate it in your classroom. You can start with highly guided meditations and slowly branch out from there. Start your mindfulness practice so your students’ experiences with mindfulness can be truly beneficial.
Mindfulness in the classroom is a powerful tool for increasing focus, self-regulation, and so much more. But, teachers who attempt to implement a mindfulness program without having their own practice are unlikely to sustain the program for very long. Want to know other reasons to have your own mindfulness practice and how to do it? Keep reading to learn!
Why You Need to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness in the classroom is a powerful practice, but it will not be sustainable without teacher and admin buy-in.
Teachers must start their own mindfulness practice for several reasons:
First, starting your own mindfulness practice will show you how mindfulness actually works, some of the difficulties of learning mindfulness, and ways to make it effective. It will also help you plan for implementation, since you’ll know the logistics of it.
Next, starting a mindfulness practice helps you to be a true advocate for the practice. You’ll learn the benefits and be a much more authentic salesperson. That is, it will be easier to convince your students to get started and sustain mindfulness if you truly believe it will benefit them.
Finally, when you have your own mindfulness practice, you will foster a culture of mindfulness. You will be able to connect with a network of others who practice mindfulness and be able to talk in an informed manner to plan for implementation. In addition, your practice can become a model for other adults in your district, including parents, who can further support students’ mindfulness across their days and weeks.
How to Start Practicing Mindfulness
There are so many options to get starting with mindfulness!!!! Just thinking about someone getting started for the first time is really exciting to me. Just like with anything, a simple Google search will turn up lots of ideas.
Getting your students practicing mindfulness will work best if you have your own practice. Just like when you teach academic content, you should be well-versed in mindfulness before you teach your students. How you go about starting mindfulness is up to you but make sure it’s something you do habitually so your brain can start to truly rewire and reap the most benefits. Take a look at the video below for a great first meditation. Just listen to the guide, do what they say, and be forgiving if you lose focus. The more you do it, the better you'll get.
Check out my supplementary video!
My name is Erin E. Silcox. I'm working on my Ph.D. in Literacy Education, focusing on the intersection of trauma and literacy. I want to deepen our base of knowledge about trauma-informed practices in schools and help teachers apply findings right now.