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Below is the transcript for Student-Centered World Podcast Episode 3.14: Mindfulness Options for Teachers
Welcome, welcome friends to another episode of the Student-Centered World podcast. I hope you are feeling calm this morning but if you are not, today’s podcast episode might be just what you are looking for. We’re going to be taking a look today at mindfulness. Now mindfulness is something that I think is extremely beneficial. But there are a lot of people that roll their eyes and say, “oh, my goodness; what is the benefit of that? It’s just another one of those things out there that they want us to do or want us to learn about”. But there are a lot of huge benefits from it for each person individually and we’re going to go over a little bit of that today.
Welcome to the Student-Centered World podcast where we talk about all things hands-on teaching and keeping your energy and sanity in the classroom. This teacher turned consultant is making it her mission to help as many teachers as possible become the best version of themselves and keep their passion for teaching on fire. It’s her hope that we never forget why we desire to have a passion for educational progress. This is Student-Centered World, and this is Jenn Breisacher.
When it comes to this concept of mindfulness, a lot of people think that it is just another buzzword in education or even in life right now. But that really couldn’t be further from the case. So, to define mindfulness, it’s just being very aware of what is going on both around you and within you at the same time. So, when a lot of people hear this concept, it’s like an eye roll and very hippy-dippy. It’s a term that my husband so endearingly uses for me so often about so many different things but it’s really helpful. So, if you have an Apple Watch, for instance, anytime that it notices that you might be getting a little bit stressed out, all of a sudden, you get a ding, and it tells you that you need to breathe. It’s kind of helping you hone back in on the fact of, you’re letting your body get away from you a little bit and we’re in charge of our body, we’re in charge of our own person.
But so often, especially when you’re teaching, we get rid of the thoughts of ourselves, because we’re so worried about taking care of others and making sure that other’s needs are being met. But I’ve said a million times before that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, this idea that you have to give, give, give all the time is going to deplete your own stores and make it so you are not as effective as a teacher, as a person, as a spouse, or a friend or a child or a parent, because you’re giving too much of yourself to this cause. So, one of the pieces of the practice of mindfulness is being able to bring yourself back into the moment and give yourself some clarity and talk yourself through whatever the situation may be.
Now, this can be easily done in the morning, when you first wake up as a preparation. It can be done in the evenings to help you wind down. It can be done in the moment if you need to. There’s so much information out there about mindfulness and the power of it and just simple little things that you can do to help bring yourself back in. So, what I actually did was chat with one of my former coworkers, Barbara [03:45 inaudible] who is trained in mindfulness. She came up with a little morning mindfulness meditation, specifically for teachers of just something that you can listen to when you first wake up in the morning, before you go into school, maybe as you’re driving into school to just take some deep breaths and think about what your purpose is. I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to put that on here so you can listen to it so you can understand the concept of what it is that you are trying to achieve with this mindfulness.
“Breathe in, breathe out by Barbara Trzaska.
Today, I am prepared and ready for this amazing day of teaching. Students and parents are prepared, ready, and looking forward to a new lesson. Breathe in, breathe out.
I know that everything is flowing in its most perfect way that all circumstances are for the growth and development of all people involved students, parents, administrators, and myself. Breathe in, breathe out.
I believe that a calm gentle attitude is predominantly present in today’s communication. Words are clear, precise, and in perfect order. The technology is functioning beautifully. Breathe in, breathe out.
The lessons are conducted easily, effortlessly, smoothly, and under grace. Breathe in, breathe out.
I am proud to be a teacher in this moment in time. I am touching gracefully the lives of so many people and sharing my gifts with others. Breathe in, breathe out.
I am joyous and happy that I am able to stretch my abilities to meet the circumstances of the present time. I know what to do in emergencies, I am in the flow. Breathe in, breathe out.
Let the day begin. Breathe in, breathe out.”
So, if you did go along with that, you probably feel a sense of like relief right now. Just a little bit calmer, your heart rate is just a little bit less and you’re a little bit more in tune to what it is that your purpose is. Again, that is the whole point around mindfulness. It’s not some hippy voodoo magic if you will. It’s being able to understand what’s going on within your body and what’s going on without. There’s so much data out there, even if you take it away from the educational standpoint of people that are athletes, or actors, or people in extremely stressful jobs situations that use mindfulness practices, either on a short-term throughout the day, or maybe something a little bit longer that helps them stay focused, that helps them keep that center and allows them to perform their job at a very, very high level consistently.
That is something that I think as teachers, we need to not only be a part of but also start teaching our students how to do it as well because data also shows that the students who are able to find their center to be able to control their thoughts a little bit help them control their actions. It’s a big snowball of positivity when we teach our students how to react to emotions, and what to do in certain situations. There’s so much that surrounds that and that’s actually something that’s going to be coming up within the next few weeks, not to be a spoiler alert, but just some stuff that we’re going to be taking a look at.
So, I hope you’re able to get something out of that. But you can reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, on Instagram and Facebook @studentcenteredworld. Then as always in the Student-Centered World mastermind Facebook group. But I hope that this just a little bit help understanding what the process of mindfulness is and the benefits of that. I encourage you if you’re at least a little bit intrigued to go out and do a little bit of research and see the big name people that take part in this and believe in it and realize that it really does help you calm and focus on all of the things that we really need to be doing as teachers in the classroom. So, on that note, I hope you’re feeling a little bit lighter and I will see you again next Saturday at 9 am Eastern Standard Time.