Class Relax has gently entered morning sessions in two classes so far this year.
Both classes are veterans and know what’s in store when I knock on their door at 8:30 in the morning. We speak briefly of why it’s good to practice breathing meditation and then we practice together.
For those few moments, the class is silent, the kids are attentive, their teachers are with me. The general ambience is positive and I exit the classroom with a smile.
The Meditation workshop was offered this year to 8th grade students. The response was unusual – only one pupil asked to participate. This is a first. Usually I get an eclectic group, each time a different conglomeration of personalities. This time, I was granted the opportunity to work one-on-one!
My pupil is someone who detests noise and suffers when surrounded by classmates who look to disrupt lessons rather than study. He gravitated to the Meditation workshop because he knew he could find his beloved oasis in a sea of rowdiness. (Our school is fairly typical amongst jr. high schools and this pupil is exceptional in his desire to learn in a quiet environment).
I’ve been taking him through the Mindfulness Ambassador Council curriculum produced by Mindfulness Without Borders. The i-version offers short video clips to reinforce themes of discussion: What is mindfulness? and Paying Attention.
These lessons offer jumping off points both for meditation and discussion. We cover SEL (social emotional learning) as well as observation of the thoughts that appear during focused sitting. We discuss application in real life, and then we take off with a creative brain-storm concerning issues that arise with him.
How to get quiet during lessons?
Pupil’s solution: Surprise 15 second calls to attention. Audio utterances commanding attention. No advanced warning – simply a surprise call to order!
I’m in favour! What do you think?