Whether you’re a teacher, a parent or a curious being, read along to learn about my sparkly mindfulness journey.
I hope to get you inspired!
I took the tools the IB curriculum offered such as the IB Learner Profile attributes and put them to use, along with insights from my work with expert teacher and practitioner of mindfulness, Bora Rancic.
Bora and I had frequently chatted about mindfulness informally, and at my request he began to deliver fortnightly mindfulness sessions to all the teachers at the Early Learning Centre at my school during the academic year of 2015/16.
We discussed both theory and practice of mindfulness, including ways to incorporate its strategies for wellbeing for ourselves (teachers) and the students in our classrooms.
Little did I know that these discussions and plans would subsequently lay the groundwork I needed in order to meet the needs of a highly demanding class the following academic year.
Using mindfulness, students learned to pay attention to the messages of their bodies in order to identify their emotions and the causes that triggered negative reactions, to reflect before responding to their feelings, and to communicate their wants and needs.
In mindfulness, awareness is combined with non-judgment: children learn to understand that it’s okay to be angry, mad or sad, so long as they channel these feelings in positive ways.
So I decided to revamp our schedule to start every morning with a mindful minute, practicing different kinds of breathing techniques and each day setting intentions based on the class’s essential agreements.
A mindful moment was also implemented to help students transition to different learning experiences throughout the school day.
Resources in the classroom included a quiet, inviting mindful corner where students could rest, reflect, listen to children’s meditation tracks, and read books related to emotions and mindfulness. As students began to develop the skills of self-awareness, attention control and emotional regulation, they showed care for each other in an authentic and kind way.
The journey I and my students took together inspired me to write Golden Sparkles, a book that explains to children how they can become more aware of their feelings at the moment in which they breathe, with focused attention and intent.