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Mindfulness Practices in the Classroom


The kids of this generation are facing record-high stress levels. As teachers, we have a responsibility to help the children in our classrooms be as healthy and happy as possible. One way to help them is through incorporating mindfulness practices in our classrooms. Mindfulness is the practice of taking a moment to calm your thoughts and your body, and paying attention to what you’re experiencing in any given moment without judgment. Studies have shown that pausing to be mindful can reduce stress, help sleep and focus, and improve academic performance. So, how can we, as teachers, bring this into our classes on a practical level?

Practice Mindfulness Yourself

It’s important to lead by example. If you have already started becoming more mindful, it will be easy to explain to the children in your classes how to do it and how it will benefit them by using your own personal experiences. Take some time to really focus on how to become more mindful yourself, and the natural next step will be for it to flow into your classroom. Modeling this behavior in the classroom, such as pausing to take a breath and self-regulating when you feel yourself getting upset, will be a powerful influence on your students as it can really benefit them from seeing an adult manage difficult emotions in a healthy way without anger and judgment.

Take the Time to Give Purpose

Just like anything else in the classroom, students will more fully engage when they understand the purpose behind what you’re doing. Before beginning mindfulness practices with your students, take the time to explain the benefits of mindfulness to your students so they will be more receptive to the practice. Answer any questions students may have about mindfulness. Lead a discussion on mindfulness by asking questions to your students like, What is mindfulness? Why is practicing mindfulness beneficial? Why is it so important for everyone in the class community to participate? In the beginning, lead mindfulness activities with purpose every time.  Soon, it will be so engrained in your students that you won’t have to spend time explaining purpose.  It will also save you time in the long run by avoiding time wasted fighting battles with students on participation.

Try Fun Mindfulness Exercises