A culture of mindfulness = Awareness and paying attention in the present = Creativity in the classroom

Mindfulness practice has helped my students learn to pay attention,be in the moment and collaborate and create with compassion.

Photo of Angeline Greenblat
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We foster creativity when we:

    • Create a culture of mindfulness in the classroom
    • Provide a consistent structure and "modus operandi" for open-ended innovation
    • Develop a culture of dialogue
    • Provide time to explore student's theories through conversation or graphic representations
    • Develop a culture of safe and respectful collaboration
    • Provide a classroom where all members of the class feel safe physically, emotionally and academically

    When I learned about mindfulness, I  realized that this was the perfect addition to my "tool belt".  Not only does a mindfulness practice strengthen the ability to attend, it also develops compassion and calm.

    Our school days begin with mindful breathing  and we take many brain breaks  through out the day.  Prior to a challenging lesson, we  sit quietly and work on focusing our attention to the breath.  Anxiety  is reduced  and  my students are better able to focus at the task at hand.  Mindfulness is introduced in many daily activities such as walking, writing and eating.  My students feel safe in our classroom and with each other.  

    Design thinking is part of our first grade curriculum.  We create prototypes for our "students in the spotlight" and other members of our community. Students learn about "failing forward" and multiple iterations before making a final prototype. 
    In her Huffington Post article of July 25, 2014, Bianca Rothschild describes how mindful meditation boosts creativity and innovation. She says that "the side effects of mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve emotional intelligence, increase resilience, stimulate the neocortex and reduce the reactivity of the reptilian brain. She also states that these side effects  assist in  getting ideas flowing directly to the neocortex, which is the best creative thinking brain.

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Photo of Elysa Fenenbock

I love this idea of observing out students as the masters who can highlight the moments where we are blocked or inconsistent. I wonder if we observe our students, with this mindset, if we could find rituals they've developed that we could build off of?

Photo of Angeline Greenblat

Thank you for your reply, Elsa. Being fully present, in the moment and not judging allows a person to see the whole picture. Yes, I think that a growth mindset allows us to see areas with opportunities to grow for us and our students.

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