How can all high school students receive mindfulness and movement strategies?
A high school day is busy. Accounting for transition, attendance and directions, each content area teacher does not have much extra time. It is hard to ask one department to carve out time within an already standard packed 55 minute class period.
Morning announcements the are perfect opportunity for daily mindfulness and movement. We use Mindful Mondays within the framework of our school wide announcements. Here are four reasons why morning announcements turned out to be the perfect tier one intervention.
With live announcements we can see a video feed in real time. Students can interact with the hosts and use the strategies as they are being modeled. We brought in Hoberman Spheres, glitter balls, chimes and anything else we could incorporate into a mindful practice. Our anchors were able to move around and visually demonstrate. Teachers were not responsible for direct teaching. We were also able to standardize our protocol and create a common language around the school wide messaging.
If you teach, or know, a high schooler you understand the power of peers. Peer influence can be a force in changing behaviors. In order for the students to buy into mindfulness, we were certain that the teaching needed to be student led. We train our anchors in the new practice for the week and then they share it with the rest of the school.
Dedicating Monday mornings to mindfulness positively influences the direction of the week. The Move Mindfully® strategies set the tone for the week to be positive and productive. Students are also beginning to transfer these activities to a variety of situations throughout the school day.
This work not only impacts our student wellness, but our teacher wellness as well. We know that a healthy staff means healthy classrooms. Our Mindful Monday announcements allow for staff to receive the impact of these strategies. They also can implement and reinforce this work in their classes throughout the week. The techniques are also applicable for their own self care. Read my other blog post about getting your staff on board!
Mindfulness no longer feels like another school initiative. Rather, it is how we collectively start off the week and build resiliency and community. See our highlight reel here.
What strategies do you use to bring mindfulness and movement to a tier one intervention? Have you tried using the platform of morning announcements? Leave a comment!
Written By, Tanya Holub
Hoberman Sphere breathing used with permission from the Yoga Calm® Curriculum