Tips from High School Teachers About Classroom Mindfulness

16 August 2017 Smiling Mind

High school can be a challenging time for our kids. There’s so much change and transition happening physically and emotionally for high school students. They’re dealing with the pressures of exams, homework, puberty, personal issues, bullying and in some cases depression. To help high school teachers on the Smiling Mind journey, we decided to find out how some of the teachers within our community already use our app. Here are their tips and tricks which they found worked well:

  1. Have your own mindfulness practice. High School teachers who have their own practice increase their own mental wellbeing and that of their students. If you have your own practice, you’ll increase the positive outcomes and creative thinking of your classroom. For example, if you’re feeling stressed, try one of our quick grounding meditations before your students come into class.
  2. Use it in any class to help settle the class. Unlike a primary setting, high school students don’t only have one teacher for the whole week.  This makes using the Smiling Mind app consistently, somewhat difficult. However, we’ve seen that even a quick 5-minute meditation can be used in any class to help get the students ready for learning.
  3. Use it in your Home group. If your school has a home group it can be a great way to start the day. We know it’s not a lot of time, so this usually works best after one of our Smiling Mind student workshops has introduced the students to mindfulness.
  4. Integrate it into a Health, P.E. or Wellbeing class. Smiling Mind classroom programs can be taught during Health to teach students about how to take care of their mental health, or as part of the Social and Emotional Learning component of the curriculum. Click here to explore our classroom programs today.
  5. The School Psychologist uses it. School psychologists and wellbeing coordinators in high schools can use it and recommend it with individual students with behavioural or social issues to help them create strategies to cope with their emotions.
  6. Tips for student engagement. Our YouTube Channel is a great support to help you explain the concepts around mindfulness, otherwise we also run student workshops that are a great way to kick start mindfulness in your high school. After we introduce the basics, it’s then easier for you to implement it in your classroom.
  7. Create a mindful classroom space. The environment where students learn and play is important in shaping their physical, mental and social health. Visual reminders around mindfulness and gratitude including things like quotes can help encourage students to find calm, clarity and connection in their day.  
  8. Get other teachers involved. A whole school approach is the best way to go when promoting mindfulness. This includes other teachers and the leadership team. Principals especially are able to improve long-term outcomes. If you’re looking for a quick 101 on how to convince your colleagues and get the onboard, visit out YouTube Channel or request to book in a staff PD workshop.
  9. Promote a whole school approach. Implementing a whole school approach to mindfulness is one of the most important factors in ensuring sustainability. The research shows that the use of a whole school approach to mindfulness leads to positive student outcomes such as increased optimism and social-emotional competence as well as improved teacher outcomes such as reduced anxiety. Why not try to provide evidence and research data to your school leadership team to promote mindfulness and ensure a whole school approach to Smiling Mind?

Good luck! We love hearing from our community so be sure to tag us on social media.

If you want to book a workshop, find out more information or simply share your story, email education@smilingmind.com.au

 

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