There is an old proverb that states, “in one ear and out the other,” and while there are days as an educator that I feel this may bear some weight, never does it pose a concern when it comes to the teachings of mindfulness.
There are so many words exchanged throughout any given school day and it can be difficult at times to know what has in fact been retained, and if what you are so very passionate about as educator, will have the lasting imprint that you hope for.
But day in and day out, I am having the great pleasure of seeing the effects of teaching mindfulness to children and youth. In fact, this wisdom not only enters the ear and stays in the ear, but is completely embodied through both heart and soul.
I recently had the pleasure of spending my time with families through parent/teacher interviews. I say pleasure, because for me through the long hours and the exhausting nights, comes the gift of knowing my students on a whole new level.
I get to gain an understanding of the family’s individual stories – their triumphs and their struggles, which in turn, help me to understand my student as a whole.
Everyone has a story and when we stop and allow for those stories to be shared, we can have compassion and empathy for the whole person that we are working with.
What seemed to come through the most prominently in each interview were the following:
*Work life and family life balance are an increasing challenge
*Parents are struggling to be the parents that they had hoped to be, while also fulfilling the responsibilities of daily life
*Parents and care-givers care about the well-being of their children and the rising rates of stress and anxiety
*Everyone is doing the best that they can
What I also learned through these meetings, is that the rate of return on teaching mindfulness has multiplied two-fold.
You see, kids are going home and communicating about what they are learning at school more than ever.
If I didn’t hear it once, I heard it 28 times – my kid is coming home every day and telling me about their day!
Not only that, but my child keeps telling me that, “I need to breathe; that will help me with all the stress I am experiencing. I’ve even been shown how to meditate so that I can relax more.” These words and experiences are being expressed by students of all backgrounds and abilities. It’s simply beautiful.
I would have been happy enough to know that my students are choosing to communicate about their days. The answer to, “what did you do at school today?” is no longer a jarring “nothing” response. But to know that my students are carrying over what goes into their ears about mindfulness and passing it on to the ears of their care-givers – now that is powerful!
I have had parents ask me if I teach courses outside of school and if I can direct them to personal courses for themselves, so that they can support their child’s learning by becoming well versed too.
As I sat down to write this blog tonight, I noticed that I had a comment from my recent article, Walk The Line http://www.newageteacher.com/walk-the-line/. This comment happened to be from a former student who has since moved schools. It read, “I miss you sooooo much. I love to meditate and I do it everyday.”
I couldn’t help but to stop and do a little happy dance here in my room, where I sit alone writing to you. I wish to celebrate this student and all my other students and families who are open, aware, and embracing the power of a mindfulness practice in their lives.
It is my greatest wish that the teachings of mindfulness continue to go in one ear, and out… into the world.
I appreciate your contribution on the topic, but i feel another issue is that “we want to teach every thing” to the students, and that’s what stops things stay in the head. If learning can be more about counting your favorite candies to learn numbers and having your favorite cartoon character to recognize colors it would be an added benefit to some thing combined with meditation.
of course the concept is on a real basic level but when elaborated can contribute to take things to a higher level.
Thank you for your thoughts about this article. I agree that there is a lot to “cram” in these days regarding curriculum. Looking at the bigger picture is definitely optimal for learning. I am biased when I say that meditation combined with anything…makes it better 😉