Reflection is at the heart of learning. Teaching mindfulness techniques to students creates skills of paying attention and focusing. This skill development gives students the ability to stay focused and on task. It also allows them to listen at a deeper level to themselves and others. Taking time each day to intentionally “do nothing” allows the brain to re-charge. It gives us a sense that we are enough in this moment.
Mindfulness according to Jon Kabat-Zinn means, “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” When we pay attention in a mindful way, experiencing the present moment, this creates a physiological change in the body, which impacts the way we think and how we relate to others. Reflection can be the fourth “R” of education (Siegel, D., 2007).
Our personal wellness effects our ability to connect with our students and families. How we arrive as educators with a sense of engagement and mindfulness will directly activate those states in our students and families. When offer our essence as people – not just in the capacity to impart knowledge, we build a connection, we inspire our students to learn. We communicate that the students matter and there is a shared responsibility in learning.
Reflection and mindfulness activities facilitates in the student an awareness and understanding of one’s own thinking process, something students need in order to have truly learned.