I've been an avid yoga and meditation practitioner for over fifteen years, but that on its own merit does not warrant incorporating it into my role as a teacher. The reason I've worked so hard to share these practices with my students is because I firmly believe all of the positive research showing the positive mental and physical effects that mindfulness and yoga have on children. Studies prove that these practices helps kids reduce stress, increase their metacognition and develop emotionally. I've seen these effects firsthand through a range of activities I've offered at Schutz.
Despite my personal practice, I knew I needed professional training before I became a practitioner, so I attended a workshop in London run by the Mindfulness In Schools Project, a charity dedicated towards teaching secular mindfulness in schools. I became certified to teach their .b curriculum to 11-18 year olds, which is the premiere mindfulness curriculum offered in the UK.
Upon completion of the program, I launched a "Mind & Body Club" before school once a week to interested middle schools students. Judging from the metrics on before/after questionnaires, the club helped students reduce stress and get an energetic start to their day.
The following year, I helped my principal redesign our Advisory program, organizing it in a rotation-style, which allowed me to teach a quarter-long Mindfulness course to each of our four middle school classes. Though I had some concentration issues with our 6th graders, over time, we made some real progress. What I especially enjoyed about this experience was learning that some of the students were practicing the meditation techniques on their own, either through the mobile apps we experimented with or at home before bed or before doing homework.
In an effort to round out my certification, I enrolled in Yoga Minded's "Yoga 4 Teens" Teacher Training Course. Upon completion, I will be launching a Yoga Club here at Schutz for middle and high school students. I will also be working with similar-minded teachers here to transmit my knowledge to enable these initiatives to outlast my stay here.
Why have I chosen to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into the school setting?
How did I incorporate mindfulness?
Practicing tree pose at our end-of-the-year field trip for Mind & Body Club members.