Congratulations! You made it through module 6.
Reflection Question: What is one of your key takeaways from this module (a quote, insight, skill, resource, or perspective)? How does or will this takeaway impact your thinking or teaching?
I have been doing the In-Out meditation for days now and I really think I can credit it for improving my mood and sense of peace. I am hoping I can find an opportunity to bring this practice into my classroom somehow, maybe only informally though conversations with my students, or maybe a structured breath at a good pausing point in our lesson.
My biggest takeaway is to live intentionally and to take the time to be aware of my actions and my feelings.
Daniel Knoll – my biggest take away is from the first video about meditation in schools and the incredible difference 12 minutes of silence can make in a community and the mental health of its students. It makes me want to spend some more time in silence every day.
Maria Schneider: The key takeaway that I have from this module is related to the module a couple weeks back on emotional learning. It is SO important to keep your mind healthy as it relates to everything else in your life. When we did the exercise to find what kind of learner we are, I was interpersonal so these yoga exercises, breathing exercises and meditations are ones that I naturally find fascinating. I will definitely take these into my own classroom/educational environment when one day I have students of my own.
“Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.” Peace is Every Step pg. 6
This quote is a reminder to be aware and present in the moment. It reinforces the notion that our outward representation is a reflection of our innermost being. It sets a challenge to not settle for just any smile, but seek to have an authentic smile generated from self awareness and an awakened mind.
One of my key takeaways from this module was definitely how I can try to implement this in my school. I could see some of the breathing exercises working for my students who tend to become very anxious while testing. I see others as using this to calm themselves when coming from an unstable or volatile home situation in the mornings or before they go home. My students with emotional disabilities already practice some of these breathing routines with our crisis intervention specialist, and I definitely see them using that in class. But overall, I think our school needs to do this at a much wider level than is currently practiced.
For me this was a re-awakening of my love for yoga. I haven’t been practicing much lately because of an injury and just being too busy, but it really is important for me and I think for everyone, to take the time out a few times a week at the least and turn inward to yourself. Even practicing daily breathing exercises is an easy way to incorporate self-awareness into everyday life and I need to make sure I am more diligent about doing this. I’m not sure I could picture it in a classroom before this module, but the importance of this centering time makes me want to try it, and after seeing the results from Visitacion Valley Middle School I think it can be done and does have an important impact.
I really appreciated the power of mediation in the second module (first video). I was impressed with how well the students seemed to handle their world and how they could use meditation to support peace within themselves.
I enjoyed learning how yoga is designed for kids and teens. We have yoga as an after-school activity for kids in kindergarten- grade 3, and I always wondered why they were meditating and quiet the whole time. It’s a good reminder that self-awareness comes in different forms and is different for every age group.
One of my key takeaways from this module is about being “mindful” and and self awareness. This takeaway does impact my thinking, especially about things that I normally took for granted or paid little attention to – starting with being mindful of breathing.
These articles and exercises reinforce my belief in the power of breathing. I need a push every once in a while to continue to think about the simple act of breathing and making breathing meaningful rather than superficial. I’d like to share the book that was recommended to me by my doctor on breathing: http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Natural-Breathing-Health-Well-Being/dp/193048514X the book itself is a little dry, but it does a great job at explaining the mechanics behind ‘authentic breathing’.
My takeaway is yoga is more about being present and full of gratitude. While I don’t practice yoga and seem to have an aversion to doing so, I am 1000% pro being present and grateful.
I agree with Adam– my life isn’t going to suddenly open itself up for a more mindful practice. In fact, the crazier things seem the better it is for me to practice. When I feel like things are spiraling out of control it is helpful to reconnect with my breath, pause, and then engage.
PS — I just read and really enjoyed this piece from the New York Times — there are interesting links between the author’s rejection of feigned “busyness” and what we’ve read in this module about the importance of silent reflection. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/
My biggest takeaway from this module is that it’s never to early or late to begin acting deliberately. “Peace is Every Step” reminded me that we must seek to frame the present in a way that suites what we want to get out of it. It’s easy to get bogged down with the stresses of life, but we can control how we perceive them and what actions we take in response to them. Sometimes all you need to do is focus on the little things that make life possible, like breathing.
For the classroom, I intend to make sure my students keep their stress down by providing work in amounts that are manageable and easy to integrate into their lives. For instance, my homework assignment might be “Ask someone what they think the biggest issue of the election is?” By doing this, they are able to engage in the world through a new way, but without having to deal with the stress of change.
The most useful thing I learned from this module was the difference between yoga practice for young children and for teens. I honestly wish I’d thought to introduce yoga to the crazy kids I nannied for, aged 3, 6 and 9! They all could have benefited in some way from taking time to pay attention to their own bodies. I will definitely read more about how to teach yoga, or at least calming breathing exercises, to groups of students. Even though kids aren’t naturally inclined to ask for quiet time, when it’s given they take it and benefit from the silence.