The first thing that you are probably wondering about incorporating mindfulness into a high school classroom is, “When do I have time?”
The answer is – IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE!
I never feel like I have enough time to teach everything I want, let alone incorporate mindfulness into the classroom. I teach at a technical vocational high school, which creates a unique teaching schedule for me. Students only attend academic classes for 91 days a year!
The other 91 days they attend their trade technology. This creates a limited amount of time for me to spend with my students. On average I see the students for an estimate of 5 hours a week and then only for half the school year. Knowing how important it is to include mindful practices into the classroom environment, I developed a variety of activities that only take a few minutes to perform. I had no other choice.
Attending the Mindful Educator Training at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. Omega Institute gave me the inspiration for each activity.
When developing these cards I kept three things in mind:
What mindful technique did I want the students to practice?
Can this be done in a classroom setting with few or no extra tools?
Can the activity be done in one minute (five minutes total)?
Then I began my research and practice. I started reading a variety of mindfulness books and blogs, as well as watching videos on different mindfulness techniques and activities. Then I modified them so they could be completed in one minute. Then we began. I took the first five minutes of every class to test out every one of these activities. Some of them worked great, while others needed to be adjusted or thrown out completely. My students and I then began to enact the different activities that are on the cards.
Other teachers in my school started noticing and I was asked to do a Professional Development for the entire staff. It was then decided that both the English and Math departments would use my cards to practice mindfulness in their classrooms!!
My Teachers pay Teachers store has given me the ability to share mindful activities with teachers all over the world who want the benefits of bringing mindful practices to their students and themselves. Remember, it is also important for teachers to take time for mindfulness each day.
I have to say, I use these cards with my students all the time and they love it! If there are a few minutes left in class, I pull out the cards and I let a student pick one. I also use the cards to focus the students before class begins.
If you purchase the activity cards, please let me know how you used them. Thanks.