Today we spoke with the Director of the Trisquel International School, Laura Wahine, and her students on how mindfulness is important for everyone. We are going to be hosting Mindful Mondays so the students can join us through Google Hangouts. We're excited to collaborate with our new friends in Spain!
When many of our peers were enjoying the 4-day weekend, we seized on an opportunity to teach our school district's teachers about mindfulness at the staff development day. We introduced our research, discussed strategies all teachers can incorporate in their classrooms (glitter jars, meditation before tests, gratitude journaling, mindful snacking), and walked the groups through an autopilot activity. The feedback was really helpful and many teachers stayed after our sessions and requested that we come to their classrooms to work with their students!
On February 10th, we were contacted by Princeton Community T.V. with a wonderful opportunity to set up an interview with some of our members and spread the word to our community about mindfulness and our project.
Four of us - Phanisree A., Jonathan S., Palak M., and Shreya J. - attended the interview to answer questions about what mindfulness is and why it is beneficial in everyone’s daily life. We mentioned our accomplishments, such as the overwhelming attendance to our 2nd Annual Wellness Fair and Panther “Pause” Challenge.
We made sure to mention that mindfulness is not only meditation and yoga - because it’s not. Any activity that involves being present and aware is mindfulness and we were sure that the statement opened the eyes of many people who were under the incorrect impression. After that, we mentioned that people like Kobe Bryant, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps and many other famous figures used mindfulness we were sure to get some heads turning.
This Saturday, eight members of our team went to Grover Middle School once again, this time to present at EdCamp Encore - the follow-up discussion of EdCamp NJ. In this event, teachers and educators from all around New Jersey came to discuss topics previously brought up in EdCamp NJ. We held a discussion with teachers about mindfulness in the classroom, and led them through a "Get off Autopilot" activity in which teachers followed commands, such as "walk" and "stop," but them having the definitions changed. Suddenly, when we said "walk," they'd stop, and at "stop," they walk.
Next, we talked about how teachers can implement mindfulness in their classrooms - and what they're already doing for that. Some shared that they held meditation practices occasionally before and after a test, and we shared simple mindfulness practices that they could do as well, such as:
Some teachers attending this discussion attended our last EdCamp session, but most didn't. Using this session was a great way to continue spreading the word about our project and encouraging teachers to implement mindfulness into their classrooms. We met with several teachers afterwards to discuss various methods of implementation, and continue corresponding with them - we even started planning a meeting date in which we would meet with one of the teachers' students to teach them about mindfulness!