Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Allowing Children to Enjoy the Silence

After writing my last post, I contacted a friend who teachers in the south of England.

We met back in 2001, when we both did a diploma in Dance Music Production at the School of Sound Recording in Manchester.

We were both deeply into our music - it's funny how things have changed.

As the years have gone by, we both laid the music to rest and focused our attention on other fields of interest. Mine was writing. His was teaching.

He has said in the past how much he loves his job. I admire him for this. There're not many people who can say the same. One of the things I always remember him saying was that he introduced meditation into his classroom.

Last night, after writing my previous post, I sent him a message asking him if he still asks his class to meditate.

His answer was music to my ears.

"Yes, I introduced meditation in my class first and then rolled it out to the whole school, so every class meditates at my school now to varying degrees.

"In terms of the effect it has had in my class, I would say it has created a calmer atmosphere in my class. And when a classroom is calm, the teacher is calm and when the teacher is calm, the kids are calm, etc, etc it's a virtuous circle.
"My class came up with our motto which is "A calm mind is a happy mind and a happy mind is a smart mind".
"In the middle of lessons I have introduced mindful moments. I ring the singing bowl when the kids are busy working and they immediately put down their pencils, stop working, place feet flat on the floor, straight spines and just focus on their breathing. A minute later, I ring the bowl again and they carry on. It's gives them some head-space.
"Just today, when doing some tricky maths using brackets in equations, I rang the singing bowl. The class stopped. A minute later I rang it again and they carried on. One of the kids came up to me at the end and said "I was really glad of that mindful moment because I was getting stressed with a hard question. But after the mindful moment, I found the answer". And sometimes meditation works like that. " :) (his smiley face)
Need we say more?

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