About a week ago, we ordered twenty copies of The Mindful Teen by Dzung Vo - a book that the entire team read over the summer and based many lesson plans off of - and the books finally came!
We are going to be using these books in the upcoming Panther "Pause" Challenge - a program that we are organizing for all students within our school to support mindfulness de-stressing strategies in teens. We will use these books as a supplement resource for our sessions, and have students read it through to better understand mindfulness. We are very excited to get this program off the ground!
Yesterday, Saturday, November 20th, seven of our team members went to Grover Middle School in the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district to talk to teachers from around New Jersey about the mental health needs of students, and how mindfulness can be incorporated into the classroom to combat stress. We started our with a "Get off of Autopilot" activity, where teachers were told to stand up. Then, they were given two commands, such as walk and stop. We kept on adding more commands, and switching the definitions, to get teachers more alert and off autopilot.
After the autopilot activity, we shared mindfulness coping strategies with teachers, including the two books we used in our sessions: The Mindful Teen by Dr. Dzung Vo and The MindUP Curriculum for 6-8 Graders.
Many teachers had questions about our 4-week session, happening in December, in which students of all grades can come in during their lunch/flex to learn a bit about the brain and mindfulness. Dr. Carter, our school principal was there, and took a picture with us afterwards.
Overall, the session was a great success, and we got in touch with many teachers to collaborate in teaching students mindfulness. If you were a teacher in our session and want to use our Panther PAUSE Challenge in our own school, let us know. We are building a digital version and your students can earn digital badges from our mindfulness training!