If you enter any Bernard Zell Early Childhood classroom throughout the day, you may hear something like this:
Sit with your legs crossed.
Put your hands on your knees.
Sit up as tall as you can.
We are going to practice sitting peacefully.
Sitting peacefully means your whole body is quiet and not moving.
Close your eyes.
Your eyes are quiet and peaceful.
Your head is quiet and peaceful.
Your shoulders are quiet and peaceful.
Your hands are quiet and peaceful.
Your belly is quiet and peaceful.
Your knees are quiet and peaceful.
Your feet are quiet and peaceful.
Let's practice sitting peacefully for 10 seconds.
Now, take a big breath in.
Breathe out slowly and peacefully.
Slowly open your eyes.
Since the first day of school, the children in Early Childhood have been immersed in daily mindfulness exercises. This year, Early Childhood teachers are being guided by the Calm Classroom curriculum and implementing moments of mindfulness throughout the day. We believe that when students and teachers take short breaks throughout the day to relax and re-energize their bodies and minds, the classroom community thrives. Research shows that the more we practice wellness techniques in a safe and structured environment, the stronger our brain’s wiring becomes for caring, composure, and calm.
The Calm Classroom curriculum is composed of breathing, stretching, relaxation, and focusing techniques. Mindful breathing, focusing on our five senses, expressing gratitude and befriending our emotions and physical symptoms are some of the exercises we have practiced throughout this year. Being mindful is, at its core, the ability to sustain a focused awareness on the present moment, and fortunately, children are uniquely suited to benefit from this type of practice. Habits formed early in life will inform behaviors in adulthood, and with mindfulness, we have the opportunity to give our children the habit of being peaceful, kind, and accepting.
Stay tuned for an opportunity to learn more about Calm Classroom and how you might bring these techniques into your home!