Over the past few years, the implementation of mindfulness into schools has been a topic of debate. Recently, research efforts have proved that incorporating mindfulness into the curriculum is beneficial to both students, and staff.
A study conducted by the American Mindfulness Association demonstrated, “the efficacy of a school-based mindfulness program in reducing middle-school children’s stress levels…”
In another study, according to The Harvard Graduate School of Education, “mindfulness education — lessons on techniques to calm the mind and body — can reduce the negative effects of stress and increase students’ ability to stay engaged, helping them stay on track academically and avoid behavior problems.”
Most research has been encouraging for teachers and parents who are on team mindfulness.
The belief that mindfulness benefits children coping with test anxiety, bullying, and other distracting emotions is becoming popular amongst teachers and school officials.
How to Introduce Mindfulness Into Your School
It’s no surprise, to you, that mindfulness is proving to be helpful to students and staff. Naturally, you’ll want to share this with your coworkers. So, when introducing mindfulness to your school’s community, it’s beneficial to build a strategy to “win” over the naysayers.
Here are a few tips on how you can help bring mindfulness into the lives of your coworkers and students.
Share Authoritative Articles to Promote Mindfulness in Schools
Keeping up with the latest research is inspiring and informational. But if you can also share it with colleagues, you can spread the word about how beneficial mindfulness is for children.
For example, The Mindful Schools website has gathered positive research about the effects of mindfulness in schools and put it in an easy-to-share fact sheet that you can distribute to others onsite.
Lead the Way and Create Healthy Habits
You already know that mindfulness is an effective way to help students with social-emotional skills. But if there’s push-back from the rest of the staff, you may need to practice what you preach.
But don’t worry, all that mindfulness will make you feel pretty chill.
Try to organize a time for staff and faculty to learn about meditation and other mindfulness activities. Set aside time on a weekly basis to promote healthy habits in your school. Doing so will create a trickle-down effect…right down to the students.
Choose Opportune Moments
You know when one of your students needs a mindful moment. So when things escalate, it’s the perfect time to teach mindfulness. Use breathing activities like Bubble Breathing and teach your students that meditation can be fun! Download a calm down kit to put in the classrooms for moments like these.
Utilize Educational Materials
There are countless online resources to share with coworkers, but when it comes to students, yearly mindful journals, activity books, and brochures are physical items that can be carried from class to class, and home.
Having something to refer to and take a break with can help your students learn to cope with their feelings and develop important social-emotional skills that will stick with them for years to come.
The research is there, mindfulness activities are helpful. And progressive teachers and counselors, like you, need to lead the pack, create awareness, and give both staff and students the tools they need to have more mindful moments in their lives.