Elementary teachers talk mindfulness

Fifteen members of the Herkimer Elementary faculty and staff met on a Saturday in November discuss the book “10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children the Social and Emotional Skills to Lead Smarter, Healthier, and Happier Lives” by Goldie Hawn.

The 2016 book presents strategies from the MindUP program developed by Hawn’s foundation, which aims to teach children social and emotional skills. The evidence-based program, which is aimed at prekindergarten through eighth-grade students, works to teach children how their brains work, where their emotions come from and how to manage and reduce their own stress.

According to fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Olds, the Saturday book discussion is one step the elementary school is taking to introduce mindfulness strategies into classrooms.

“Students are given the tools necessary to focus, self regulate, and pause before reacting. Students are also being exposed to the basic model of the brain and how it functions,” Olds explained.

Olds, who will co-host a presentation about mindfulness for teachers with Sherri Spina of Central Valley CSD in January, said she hopes mindfulness will help Herkimer Elementary staff promote the social, emotional and academic well-being of students in a positive way.

Read more: “Mindfulness: Why it’s becoming more prevalent in schools