I have been coming to Ocean Avenue elementary for awhile now, substitute teaching across the grades and serving as a support person for students with special needs. The staff have always been welcoming, and the culture of the school is warm and inviting. Thus, I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to present to the staff about mindfulness.
I am always struck how the energy of an entire room seems to settle as we walk our way through various activities with body, listening, and breath. When I called for folks to share about things they feel grateful for, their answers filled through room with hope. I found myself with an idiot smile plastered to my face, overjoyed to facilitate this moment for folks who I witnessed working so hard day in and day out.
While brief, an hour of mindfulness was enough to offer a taste of the benefits of learning how to pay more attention. When I came back to sub the next day, a teacher cornered me in the hallway, "That was the best professional development we've had," she confided. I'm so glad.