There are many ways and places that we practice mindfulness at JSS. I lead the school, on the intercom, on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:50 (ish) AM in a Mindful Meditation. Students, of course, have a choice whether to do this or not – the expectation is there is quiet in the classrooms. We also begin our monthly assemblies with a “Moving Meditation”, led by Ms. Janet Aalfs, from Valley Women’s Martial Arts. She has done this for a few years now – somewhat like tai chi – and it serves to begin our gathering in a settled way.
Ms. Rebeca Allessi, our Tiered Support Specialist, has a “mindfulness/yoga” period with every class in her “studio” – again students can watch if they’d rather. She is well-versed in a curriculum called “The Zones of Regulation” as well as Responsive Classroom and 2nd Step. She weaves strategies in with her time with students in finding ways to self-settle and return to calm. Ms. King and Mr. Justin, school counselors, also work with students in groups, in classrooms, and individually, on regulation and mindful ways of resolving internal and external feelings and problems. And finally, many of the classroom teachers have included and integrated mindfulness and movement breaks into their daily schedules.
As you may know (or been told when you go for an appointment), physicians are “prescribing” mindful breathing as a well to reduce stress, depression and other challenging emotions. In case you didn’t see it, there was an excellent article in The NYTimes recently on Mindfulness in Children. Here is the link to the article – and then, below it, I’ve copied a few sections. Please let me know if you have questions and/or would like to check in with me.