It can be easy to wish time away in school – how quickly the academic year passes – but how much goes unnoticed…
Paying more attention to the present, to your own thoughts and to the world around you, being ‘in the moment’ – can really help to improve your mental well-being. This is the practice of being mindful.
As teachers we need to work hard to make time for our own mindfulness, but it is also essential that we teach our children this life skill.
There are a few incredibly practical approaches that can very easily be added to your daily teaching. I have found ‘100 Ideas for Primary Teachers – Mindfulness in the Classroom’ by Tammie Prince essential for dipping into for inspiration.
Personally my favourites are:
‘Deep breathing’ – (I have been known to fall asleep whilst doing this!), which is ridiculously easy and can be used in any stressful situation in life. This consists of breathing in for the count of five, pausing and breathing out for the count of 8 and repeating as necessary (it is brilliant for calming down an angry child!).
‘Body Writing’ – (something I particularly enjoyed as a child) where children in pairs write on each other’s backs – the sense of touch comforts and adds a sense of being in the moment as the child concentrates to decipher the word.
Including these practices can help improve yours and your pupils’ mental health – something to strive for as we start a new year!