Teaching mindfulness to students creates a positive learning environment, improves executive functioning, increases academic performance while improving overall behavior and giving tools for strengthening social and emotional awareness. This growing trend is benefitting thousands of students all over the world. The world has shifted away from believing that intellect, or one’s IQ, is the only way to measure someone’s intelligence, and has moved closer to believing that children need to be schooled in social and emotional learning as well. Mindfulness in the classroom simply provides children with the tools to be used in every aspect of their lives. Studies have proven to show that mindfulness in the classroom:
- Increases emotional regulation
- Increases social skills
- Focuses attention
- Increases self esteem
- Improves test taking abilities
- Decreases hyperactivity
- Decreases anxiety and depression
- Decreases bullying and playground frustrations
* To see more studies done on the benefits of mindfulness in education, check out www.mindfulschools.org
In-class Mindfulness Instruction
Joree's expertise is teaching K-12th graders mindfulness in their classroom environment with outstanding results! She works with a total of 20 lessons, each lasting approximately 20 minutes. Before going into the lesson, she begins each class with a practice of mindful breathing and for grades 2nd and up, ends with a journaling exercise. Joree’s experience is consistent with what the studies show: these kids are benefitting greatly from their mindfulness practice. They “get it,” and they ask for it, they use it but most of all they need it! In a society that does not sponsor slowing down and living with attention or intention, kids today are not being raised to take even just one minute to “do nothing.” In this digital era, it is expected that even just one minute of doing nothing means that we are bored, disconnected from others and the time must be filled with some digital device. Mindfulness gives kids the opportunity to learn how to be still, to get to know themselves emotionally and to find peace and calm in their crazy lives. This practice is helping them fall asleep better at night, do better on tests, be a better friend, and deal with their difficult emotions because they are given the tools, the language and the practice . Don’t believe my word for it? Here what they have to say… Kid's Testimonials
Examples of classroom mindfulness lessons include:
- Mindful Listening and being in a mindful body position
- Mindful Breathing
- Body Awareness – body scan
- Mindful Walking
- Mindful Seeing – looking around and noticing things you’ve never noticed before
- Mindful Eating
- Understanding your brain and how it works
- Handling Stress – mindful test taking
- Heartfulness – sending kind thoughts to others
- Mindfulness of your thoughts
- Mindfulness of your emotions
- Empathy – understanding how another person is feeling
- Gratitude – looking for the good around you
Faculty and Staff Training
Either in conjunction with in-class instruction or as a stand-alone service, Joree goes into schools to train the faculty and staff on the importance and benefits of a mindfulness practice in educational settings and also provides them with many tips for maintaining and creating a mindful classroom. Simple reminders of how to transition from one subject to the next, how to take a moment to breathe before beginning a test or simply role modeling the behavior of responding and not reacting, can change the entire climate of the classroom for the better.
In a 1 ½ hour session, Joree provides very practical, hands-on talks for parents. Teaching kids a mindfulness practice is only half the equation… parents need to be given the information, skills and opportunity to develop their own practice as well. Joree often asks parents the following questions…
How would you like ...
- to be more present and patient with your kids or spouses?
- to teach your kids skills to deal with stress, school anxiety and difficulties with their friends?
- to feel less busy and overwhelmed, and actually find joy in what you are doing?
- to feel more compassion for those around you?
- to be more in control of how your body deals with pain or fatigue?
- to fall asleep easier at night and sleep more soundly?
- to not worry so much?
Every parent would like to experience more of all of that! But they don’t always know how. Parents often tell their kids to relax and calm down, but they don’t necessarily teach them how. Parents tell them to focus, pay attention and just do their homework, but how? They often say just calm down and go to sleep, but they don’t teach them how. Mindfulness isn’t the answer to all of life’s problems, but it can definitely give parents the tools on how to communicate more effectively about all these things.