Mindful transitions are an important component of small group instruction.
For students and staff mindful transitions are critical for the success of an intervention. As an English as a Second Language Teacher, I teach many small groups throughout the day. The process of getting the students, walking down the hallway and settling into another classroom space can sometimes be a difficult transition… for the kids and myself!
This year I have learned about Move Mindfully® and I have started implementing some of the strategies. One that works well for me is child’s pose on the desk. I use the Head on Desk card found in the Move Mindfully Card Deck for cuing suggestions.
When students come into my classroom, they know before anything else, that they should sit at their spots and take one minute in head on desk. The green poster in the Permission to Pause package also serves as a great visual for this routine.
Stack one fist on top of the other and then rest your forehead on your top fist. I wait here for one minute, taking 5-10 deep breaths. Their brains and bodies need this moment of rest.
Taking this moment to get centered and arrive in the space has been influential in creating positive transitions and immediate focus. Before cuing them out, I read aloud our objective. Right away, they are engaging in the content objective and using their visualization.
Teacher Self Care
I have found that this moment is not only beneficial for the students, but for myself as well! I used to use this minute to get my papers in order and make sure I had pencils on the table. However, I recently started participating with the students and noticed a profound effect. As a teacher, we are always running from one place to another. Taking time to slow down, stop and breathe has made ME a more focused and attentive teacher.
They say, if you don’t have a minute for mindfulness, take five. I think the same is true with running small groups. The time taken to settle in and transition with purposeful breath can make a huge impact. The Move Mindfully® Teachers Pay Teachers store also has great resources to get you started with these practices.
Have you used child’s pose as a transition? How do you help your students arrive to small group? Leave a comment!
Julia Linehan is an ESL teacher in West Saint Paul. She has been in education for 23 years, starting as a classroom teacher. Julia finds joy in running and birding! She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.