10 Steps for Setting Up a Mindful Classroom

August 30th, 2019

Write a personal vision for your classroom. 

What do you want it to look like, feel like, and how do you want all of your students to feel?

Have each student write a vision for the year. 

Create a classroom Vision Board. Remember, “Where Intention Goes, Energy Flows.”  (Learn more about the power of intention here https://discoverlivingalive.com/intention-purpose-trust/#more-905)

Start the year with blank walls.

Have the students create the look and feel of the room as time progresses.  How cool to honor your students work all around the room!

Consider using floor lamps.

Turn off those glaring florescent lights.

Plants, plants, and more plants.

(more…)

Interpersonal Relationships, Social Health, and our Physical Health

July 28th, 2019

“Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk. Studies show that social relationships have short- and long-term effects on health, for better and for worse, and that these effects emerge in childhood and cascade throughout life to foster cumulative advantage or disadvantage in health.”

Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez, The Journal of Health and Social Behavior

This is a powerful statement. We cannot look at health and mental health and ignore the important role inter-personal relationships play in our lives.  And I believe we would all agree that relationship skills are learned behaviors and that relationship patterns start very early on in our lives and exert an enormous influence into our adult lives.

Healthy Interpersonal Skills

Some examples of healthy interpersonal skills include:

  • Feeling good about yourself/positive self-talk
  • Accepting feedback
  • Able to cultivate lasting and satisfying personal relationships
  • Using communication and listening skills to move through conflicts and challenges
  • Practicing forgiveness, non-judgment, and acceptance
  • Using honest and open communication, even in conflict
  • Taking responsibility for your word
  • Practicing empathy
(more…)

Take TWO Minutes

June 25th, 2019

Eric Jensen writes, “Some of the smartest things teachers can do are the simplest.” In a culture where we tend to over complicate, this is a fabulous reminder.

When I am working with teachers, staff, and administrators the statement I hear over and over again is, “there is not enough time.” And I get it!  Planning, learning standards, constant additions of a new curriculum, new apps, new resources, preparing students for testing and all while managing the diversity of students and balancing demands of personal and professional life. There is a lot going on. 

So I understand when I am introducing the benefits of breath, movement, and mindfulness that the first response is often, “and how am I going to fit that into my day?” And my answer is, “taking 2 to 5 minutes at the beginning of any lesson plan to breathe and move, prepares students for learning, increases student focus, and decreases behavior challenges that arise during teaching time.”

(more…)