I have been working to be more mindful in my daily activities. Mindfulness is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” This reminds me so much of one of AASL’s Standards under Explore/Grow”
V.D.2 Learners develop through experience and reflection by recognizing capabilities and skills that can be developed, improved, and expanded.
Working with students often stretches our limits and, at times, theirs, as well. Using simple meditation techniques can help improve students’ reflection process. Many school districts have implemented meditation in place of corporal punishment for discipline. Students learn healthy ways to process emotions, be mindful, and make thoughtful decisions. I personally use the app Headspace for meditation, especially in moments when I need to take a break. I love the simplicity of the app; however, there are several apps and websites that can be incorporated into the classroom or library to help instruct students in mindfulness.
Wellbeyond is an IOS app that helps bring mindfulness to students. It is geared toward children and cultivates a calming practice. With several different focuses, Wellbeyond is the perfect app to help students make a connection between being mindful and everyday life. Wellbeyond supports Classkit through Apple Schoolwork.
Super Stretch Yoga focuses on using yoga as a tool for mindfulness. Super Stretch Yoga takes students on adventures in movement to bring mindfulness to the forefront. Mindfulness comes from not only learning to focus quietly on the moment, but it is also in conscious movement. Through yoga, students can learn to focus energy into a variety of poses and sequences of movement. Super Stretch also offers a YouTube Channel!
Blissful Kids is perfect for the library. The website not only contains a free e-book download, but it also contains lesson plans, activities, and crafts. I find the articles that help explain mindfulness in kid-friendly terms very helpful.
Colleague and yoga instructor Anne Canada reminded me that “creating an environment where it’s safe to be curious about your body’s limits and abilities, a place for quiet reflection, a place for non-competitive movement and exploration in schools is supportive of all we hold to be dear in the individuals we are charged with. Be unique. Make efforts to better yourself and better understand yourself, and through those efforts, recognize the struggle for self definition in others.”
Don’t forget about your teacher friends. They need a quiet, non-competitive space to practice too. Consider opening your space or creating a space for meditation.
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.