Day 48 (of 184) being mindful
Today my staff and I followed our school growth plan goal on self-regulation and anxiety.
The pillars of MindUP program include:
Social & emotional learning
As a small group we looked at the parts of the brain to create a poster that:
Described the function of the part of the brain
Explain how this part of the brain connects to other parts of the brain
Create an analogy to explain it to students
Create a jingle or song to use with students to learn about this part of the brain
We looked at the prefrontal cortex as the coach/referee/orchestra leader
Because depending on what the amygdala ‘does’ as the enforcer/musician – will they fight, flight, or stick with the gameplan.
And much of it comes from the hippocampus which acts as the gameplan/rules/sheet of music
–> though I liked the group that used the Gingerbread man analogy for their look at the amygdala: run run as fast as I can – I’m reacting, not thinking I’m the gingerbread man!
Important to separate mindfulness from religion. While some of the tools may have religious connections (zenergy chime) but used in a nondenominational methodology.
Also good to recognize that we will always have times of mindfulness (making a good choice and helping my son slow his breathing) and at times unmindful (when my daughter threw herself onto our couch and spilled two glasses of water).
Implementing some of the lessons is great – but at the same time, if we are adding something into our class, what will we take out…
Deep deliberate steady breaths bring oxygen to the brain:
Activates – physical, Limbic system
Releases – chemical: dopamine & serotonin
3x a day does everybody good (students and teachers benefit) –> anecdotally we have gotten very positive feedback from TOCs and parents in our school community!
I also appreciate the reminders to practice. Practice how to be optimistic. How to be kind. Ways to say ‘thank you’ etc. Some kids will find this easy, but some will find it very difficult. But modelling and practicing allows for parallel play, practicing, and perfecting some of the key skills and traits that will help students self regulate. In other words: help them practice some things that they can do ‘when they don’t know what to do’.
And we ended with a shoutout to gratitude – and in particular to Shayne Koyzan who spoke us out via his video Educate The Heart. Great visual and audio reminder to keep an eye on what’s important!