Silence isn't something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes. And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco's poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students' demeanor. Instead, he decided to extend the school day by 30 minutes for meditation time, which resulted in better academic performance and a 75 percent decrease in suspensions. Students at Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco meditate, as part of a program in which students meditate for fifteen minutes twice a day. For seventeen years years, I have been teaching mathematics to high school students in Australia and the US. I have also been fortunate to introduce another of my great passions into the classroom, and that’s meditation. Introducing students to meditation for the first time can be challenging, but if you stick with it, the rewards are worth it. I’ve been fortunate to work with educators from around the world, helping them introduce meditation into the classroom.
Building anticipation about how much this can change their lives is key to securing their buy- in. My experience has shown me that persistence overcomes the objections and challenges and dramatically improves class atmosphere. Laurie Carroll is an educational consultant, professional certified life coach, and inspirational speaker and writer. Get our Meditation Made Easy Beginners Guide along with weekly articles and free resources delivered to your inbox. Want to join the the community of teachers and practitioners who write for About Meditation?
At such a tender age, they probably dona€™t know their salamba kapotasana from their trikonasana. This is not the first time it has been suggested that the discipline can benefit younger students. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

But he changed his tune, when over a four-year period, suspensions decreased by 79 percent and attendance and academic performance noticeably increased. Principal Bill Kappenhagen was skeptical at first, as well, and had to wrangle with the problem of when in the school day to grab a half hour for quiet reflection. I have always loved teaching, and mathematics has been a passion of mine since High School. You might be surprised at the success I’ve experienced bringing this right-brain activity into the decidedly left-brain context of mathematics. I ask them, “How would you like to come to my class and do nothing…every day this year?” Needless to say, I’ve captured their attention. Clear consistent guidelines are essential to prevent your first meditation from being a disaster. It is important for students (and you) to acknowledge that meditation reveals a unique experience for each of us and no two meditations are alike. You can pay attention to your own mood swings through the day and track how meditation is affecting your teaching.
In a day and age when our mental health is being compromised through entertainment and over-stimulation, meditation is arguably the greatest tool an educator, parent, or mentor can use with themselves and their students. You can learn more about Laurie’s work with teens on his website and you can invite him to speak or lead workshops by contacting him here. Start meditating today and release the source of your stress with these proven meditation techniques. The former history teacher said: a€?It is ultimately about improving concentration and grades. He or she will help you cut through the confusion of ideas and sort out which of the numerous styles of meditation is right for you.
I am armed with my data and ready to preach about how meditation supports better thinking, reduces stress, improves health, and creates peaceful classrooms.
Imagine closing your eyes in front of thirty teenagers and expecting them to instantly do the same. To help transition from meditation to the lesson plan, I may go around the room and ask each student to describe how they feel in one word.

Information like the number of student referrals (not good), the classroom tone, and test results will help you gain confidence in the positive impact meditation has on students. Whether you want to relax, stimulate creativity, gain enlightenment, or cultivate compassion and mindfulness, we help you learn how to let go. To complicate this already complex equation, most people already have confusing ideas and beliefs about what meditation is and how it works. When introducing meditation for children, these simple steps are not so much rules to follow as much as contemplations to consider and shape to your situation.
I might pause if I suspect someone is confused or upset and simply ask him or her to say more. In fact, you can argue that meditation is something you are always doing, and the practice of meditation is simply getting in touch with that fact! Examples of adjustments I have made include: turning lights off, remaining silent for longer periods of time, reducing the debriefing time, changing student seating arrangements, keeping the board clear of notes.
You don’t have to go far these days to find respectable sources praising the virtues of meditation: Time Magazine and Harvard University to name two. Teachers and administrators, she adds, see it as a tool that also can boost school performance."Schools are absolutely paying attention to the benefits of mindfulness," says Lorraine Hobbs, the director of youth and family programs at UC San Diego's School of Medicine and Center for Mindfulness. And maybe it's as simple as remembering to breathe."Hobbs says it's important for the adults in a school to develop a mindfulness practice.
And it also means teachers are aware of mindful ideas throughout the day.Several experts likened the current state of mindfulness to the way people approached yoga a few decades back.
These days child's pose is part of everyday language, but not so long ago yoga was seen as kooky or, worse, some odd religious practice.
Children can go there to "take five" when they are overwhelmed by their feelings or unable to manage what's going on in the class."Mindfulness has been my favorite thing in my whole life," says one of the students, Alia Briglia, 6.

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