IMG_1742Lindsay from Center for Mindful Learning came Tuesday. Last week on Tuesday, I wasn’t here. But this week, we asked who did their homework.

Our class never has homework.

But this time…

It was simple.

Breathe in…. breathe out… relax.

The idea is that this should become a natural tool for us to use thoughout our day. And that it should be small. We’ve been working on that in January. Small movements. Slow movements.

So what does that mean, small? We used to use both our hands, like we were pushing a weight up when we’d breathe in; letting it fall when we breathed out; arms falling to the side when we would relax. But we can do it smaller.

We started with just our hands on our knees. Raise your hand and breathe in, lower your hand and breathe out. But it can be smaller. Just one hand. Or just a finger.

When we do that, we can bring our tool with us… when we are angry in the car (which I seem to be a lot lately), when we are frustrated in math class, when we are angry at our siblings, when we are anxious about a test… We can use this tool to help us function.

So the homework was to do it once–just one time–before Lindsay came back. A few did it. Lindsay says she does this hundreds of times every day. HUNDREDS!

That got me thinking that maybe I need to think more about being mindful, especially when I start talking to the cars/drivers in front of me. My children keep telling me that the drivers can’t hear me; perhaps this is my cue to breathe…

At the end of the week, Suzy and I did a webinar to complete our Level 1 training forModern Mindfulness Teacher Training. (Thank you, Partnership for Change for the tuition!) Taking Level 1 training gives you access to a 10-week online course you can use with your students. It fosters leadership in the classroom because students lead the exercise and chose the messages. The more you can turn these experiences over to students, the more likely they are to take this important work into their own lives. And that’s exactly what we want. They have a price break for families, too. If you really want to do this, they will make it accessible to you. At least that was what Denise said in the webinar.

We have follow-up training with Lindsay next week, because the online program is verbose. There’s a lot of talking before you get into the doing. And even the doing has lots of complicated language around it–complicated for our level of English Language Proficiency, anyway.

The program itself looks great. You get access for one year with level 1 training, and perpetual access with level 2, which they recommend doing after 6 weeks. I might choose to do it during the summer, since I won’t really be using this in this form. I do want to work on it with my children.

We could use a little more mindfulness at home.


By  Beth Evans ELL Teacher at Burlington High school.

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