Mindfulness practice in schools, at any age, has shown a hugely beneficial return on a small investment of time. At both the personal and systemic level, students who can self-regulate are better self-advocates and have the skill to take charge of and responsibility for their actions and learning at levels that exceed those not so practiced. Such self-awareness has positive effects on students' character, decreasing aggression, increasing understanding and empathy.
Additionally, teachers, admin, all staff, practicing Mindfulness at least once/day . . . ? This can benefit the entire ecosystem of the school/district.
This idea is simply to train a cadre of teachers in each building in simple mindfulness techniques. The teachers would then run building-wide training for other teachers to help implement district wide.
The practice consists of anywhere from 1--3 minutes of quiet, focused attention to breathing, seated or standing. However, lessons can be created for biology or phys. ed. / health classes that focus on stress reduction, increased knowledge of the brain and how it processes threats and stress, etc.
Total time commitment:
- Training of initial cadre of teachers--1-2 days of PD
- Training of building staff--approx 8 hours with ongoing, 1/month checkups (@ 30 minutes/session)
- Class time (with lessons)--once/week 42 minute class period for 6 weeks then once/day 1--3 minute mindfulness practice
- Class time (without full lessons)--once/day approx 5 minutes.