When I was dreaming up this project, with the many demands on teachers in mind, I felt I would need to present the case for mindfulness both compellingly and approachably. It would need to be clear to anyone lacking prior familiarity with the subject, who might happen upon this forum, that there are simple ways to fit mindfulness into the school day.
While academic studies rely on specific curricula designed to maximize benefits, the inability to enact every piece of a curriculum should never be a barrier to the practice of something so centering for both teacher and class as being in the present moment. But I’m not suggesting a hit-or-miss, one-off approach!
The value of consistency has been much written about. I intend here to mean something more like “reliability” than like “sameness.” I believe that consistency in the classroom is supported by a teacher’s own mindfulness practice. The teacher sets the tone, embodies the mindset. The benefits of mindfulness to teachers specifically are actively being explored, and I’ll do my best to keep up with that research and share it here. (This should be easier when I’ve finished my degree.)
What I mean by fitting mindfulness into the day, is not that I consider it to be some sort of menu item ordered à la carte; working from that metaphor, mindfulness would be more aptly compared to a full repast. I recognize, however, that teachers may not be able to accommodate entire programs in their schedules, especially if mindfulness is more of a personal experiment than an institutional mandate.
In consideration of that, I would like to begin collecting ideas in a “How To” folder, which teachers can draw on and take inspiration from, in finding a place for mindfulness in their classrooms. I would recommend choosing at least one meaningful activity to become a daily practice, and finding ways to work in others as possible. Of course, teachers who practice mindfulness can and do, in that way, share it with their students all the time. Stay tuned for suggestions to come…