Mindfulness is a big buzzword for all professions today. If you’re like the other over 50% of K-12 educators who feel burnout, taking time to implement mindful strategies may be the difference of what gets you happily through the year.
What is Mindfulness, Especially in a Classroom?
In a nutshell, mindfulness strategies are the big-picture, long-term thinking solutions that you introduce into your daily routine, in small increments each day, for a large overall impact on your classroom management and positivity levels.
We found this graphic, from teachthought, that outlines tips for ways to get started with mindfulness.
If you’re an educator, you know students can struggle with focusing and following instructions. This is an opportunity where you can maximize lost time and foster student connections. Having 2-5 minute cool down breaks between class periods for students to breathe gives educators and students a much-needed moment to re-center.
Prior to starting activities and lessons, explain the purpose of what’s being instructed. This can equally remind the educator and the listener of the focus and make teaching/learning less overwhelming.
Easier said than done, but exercising gratitude really can have a significant impact on a teacher’s mindset for the day. This can also help students too! Writing on post-its, bulletin boards, or journaling things you are grateful for throughout the day will help refocus on the tiny daily successes that otherwise go overlooked.
Even just allowing students to recognize and appreciate that they have access to education in a safe school environment can increase their willingness to learn. Instead of grade-based recognition, students can find success in small wins, such as starting a project or understanding a complex algorithm. This can help K-12 students become more incentivized to learn and improve rather than just strive for a specific letter grade.
Mindful Seating Arrangements
Think Marie Kondo for your classroom. Studies have shown that “when students can see one another, they feel less judgment and fear of speaking up.” Creating discussion-based seating with small groups can help students feel more open to their peers for academic and emotional support. Peer group learning has proven to help students retain information longer by forming emotional memories and attachments to concepts discussed, rather than just reciting information on a blackboard.
Release Your Workload
K-12 educators undergo a plethora of responsibilities including not only building educational foundations, but also fundamental developments as people in their most impressionable ages. It’s okay to acknowledge that worrying about proper student development is a lot for one person to take on top of regular 8-hour days with dozens of students and after-hours grading/curriculum planning.
Support from coworkers and the school board is always a good starting step, but even going further to talk to the district about implementing educational partners can help relieve some of the stress.
Programs like Intervene K-12 provide assessments and intervention programs to release the teacher workload and define where the students need help. This saves teachers countless amounts of time from having to do this analysis for each individual student while also managing an entire class.
See more at https://intervenek12.com/