A Guest Post by Shaun Laurito
ATTENTION STUDENTS: Help make your teacher more mindful!
Has your teacher seemed on edge lately? Did they lose some of the September spunk that kept the class exciting? Does it seem like if one more kid calls out their head might explode?!
You should teach them about mindfulness…
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness- Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Click here to learn more about Mindfulness.
Put simply, so your teacher can understand, sometimes you need to take a second and smell the smencils.
How can mindfulness help your teacher?
Negative self-talk (self-esteem!): Is your teacher talking to themselves more than normal?! It is not uncommon for your teacher to get caught in a stress induced negative self-talk loop. You should help to pull them from that. Remind your teacher to come back to the moment with an awareness of just a single breathe. Chances are if they can put things in perspective, they’ll realize they waited a long-time, and paid a lot of money, to be standing in a classroom with their name plate on the door. Give them that chance to remember.
Remind them that body language affects attitude and attitude affects behavior. This is payback for them always telling you to sit right at your chair. Tell them you need a minute to power pose before the test, and ask them to join in!
Have your teacher watch Amy Cuddy’s TEDtalk on power posing.
Mindfulness towards problems that arise and self blame:
Your teacher puts a lot effort into making their lessons run smooth, but sometimes things can go wrong. The copier isn’t working, the chromebooks won’t start, the class clown ate a sugar-packed lunch… When problems arise we often have to deal with not only the problem, but the negative emotions that come with it. This is called the “second arrow.” Have your teacher watch this short clip on handling that second arrow.
It can give them a second to breathe!
With all of the things your teacher has on their to-do list, it can be easy to forget something. Sometimes they might need a minute to adjust, or transition, or prepare for a change in the lesson. Taking a moment to have a mindful minute is a great way to give your teacher their own “brain break.”
So kids, when you see your teacher’s eyes bulging, and that vein in their head starts to show, remind them to take a deep breathe and try to incorporate some mindfulness into their lessons.
Shaun Laurito is a Physical Education and Health Teacher in New Jersey.