Mindfulness in Action: Part II, When the Student Becomes the Teacher

 From left to right: Oli, Gracelyn, Ross, Walter, and I (and Baby Chalupa) presenting at the 2017 Creating Positive Climate for Youth Conference

From left to right: Oli, Gracelyn, Ross, Walter, and I (and Baby Chalupa) presenting at the 2017 Creating Positive Climate for Youth Conference

As I have written about once before, there is no greater pride for a teacher than watching their students take the reins. Presenting alongside four of my Mind Wise students at the Creating Positive Climate for Youth conference made my cup overfloweth. It was incredibly powerful to listen to them clearly and confidently articulate their learning in front of a room full of educators. Furthermore, I was able to to hear the comments from the audience afterwards about how compelling it was to hear the voices of students speaking out on behalf of this work.

Our presentation centered on Mindfulness as a Tool for Self Engagement. We identified three key distractions that may take a student away from engagement:

1. Boredom

2. Strong emotion/stress

3. Negative self talk/thoughts

We then walked educators through how practicing mindfulness can help students notice whatever is happening for them, to accept those things, and then refocus their attention on the task of their choosing. 

Each student shared their personal story of what their distraction is and how mindfulness has helped them work with that distraction so they have more of a sense of agency in their own lives. 

I have so much gratitude for being able to be colleagues with these amazing learners. (Also, on a more practical level, to be able to keep my pregnant butt seated through much of the presentation.)