McKinley-Brighton Staff Book Club Focuses on Being Mindful

     Published on 10/29/15   Tagged under:    District News    McKinley-Brighton Elementary School   

“It’s so healing for a kid to have all of your attention. When someone is fully heard, it can make a huge difference,” one teacher observed.
 
In the first year of McKinley-Brighton’s book club, staff are meeting monthly to discuss mindfulness while reading Goldie Hawn’s book “10 Mindful Minutes.’
 
Some attend the book club as a hobby. “I have to do more for myself,” one teacher explained. “I love to read—reading is a reward for me. And it’s nice to come here and share ideas with my colleagues.”
 
Others say the book has helped them stay calm during stressful school days, noting that they have learned to focus on the positive instead of the negative and to ask themselves “what did I do right?” instead of “what could I have done differently.”
 
As a group, the staff hope to slowly begin applying mindfulness strategies in their classrooms with their students, helping the youngsters learn to control their emotions and manage their behavior by being mindful in their breathing, seeing, smelling, movement and more.
 
One teacher noted that allowing students to play with bubbles when they are upset has helped, because it forces students to slow their breathing. Another noted that the smells of lavender and peppermint have had a calming effect on students visiting her office.
 
“We’re such a rushed society,” one teacher noted. “We need to give ourselves time to look and use our mindful seeing. Looking and not talking can be really helpful for us—and for students.”
 
Staff also discussed playing nature sounds or relaxing, classical music in the morning and after lunch to help students clear their mind and focus.
 
The group is hoping to use their discussions as a springboard to implement mindfulness throughout the school. Thank you, Vice Principal Renee Burgess, and dedicated McKinley-Brighton staff, for taking the time to brainstorm ways to improve the culture of your school!