I do not watch the news daily, but rather watch Ellen daily to keep up to date on what is happening in the world. I watched this interview when it aired in October 2018 and just rewatched it again. Between about the 2 minute to 4 minute mark in the video, Ellen asks them how they all remained CALM. Their answer is so inspiring and important.
I cannot imagine myself remaining calm if I were trapped in a cave with no access to food and very little water for 10 days, but this team did exactly that. Their answer reminds me of my new goals and new aspirations bringing mindfulness to schools and in particular, to teachers first. Teaching can be a very stressful and emotionally draining profession, but the teachers at my school remain in the profession because of the purpose we serve, we love working with children and the connections we form with each other and our students.
At my school this year, we are using the CALM app to remain calm and practice our own version of self care to be the bring the best versions of ourselves to our students. Calm has a calm school initiative and their app is free for educators if you simply apply here. We have been so grateful to have access to Calm’s daily mindfulness meditaions, as well as their music, sleep stories and more. There are specific mindfulness activities geared toward specific age groups of children as well. I do not have much experience with those yet, as my school is focused on our teacher’s well-being first. Studies show that if teachers take time to stop, breathe and think, their students will blossom. So that is where we are now!
Another incredible app, that is also a website with a full curriculum for FREE for schools and teachers if you simply apply here is actually called STOP, BREATHE, THINK. There is a version of their app for adults as well as a version for children. So far, I have used the adult version and the children’s version minimally, but has been so powerful when I tried it because it is directly correlated to the brain research behind mindfulness (from Hrvard) and social emotional learning (from Berkley). If any human being can stop, breathe, and simply name their emotion, feeling, or state of mind, that person can operate from a more aware and mindful (less reactive) responsive version of themselves.
The research on mindfulness in education continues to grow and evolve in support of what it does for our stress levels, our resilence, our overall health, our attention, our relationships, our brains and our compassion for ourselves and others. Here’s Dr. Dan Siegel (one of the leading reserachers and Clinical Professor of psychiatry at UCLA) below talking about mindful parenting, as well as understanding self regulation. He’s also the creator of the hand model of the brain.