Herkimer Elementary students gathered for a few moments of mindfulness during a recent assembly. Led by Mrs. Olds, the students heard an acrostic poem of mindful reminders created by Mr. Schoff’s class, and watched a skit written and produced by Mrs. Olds’ students that showed how mindfulness can help students pay attention during class. The class also sang a song, “Mindful Breaths,” to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
In between, students watched short video clips that offered inspiring messages about the power of the human mind. “Happiness is not a place you get to — it happens in the moment,” one video reminded students.
Another video related a parable about the “two wolves” fighting inside of us all — one which is evil and one which is good. The parable asks which wolf will win the fight, and reminds us that the wolf we feed is the one who will win.
The assembly was over after just a short time, but the lessons of mindfulness are part of a larger effort going on at Herkimer Elementary.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an evidence-based technique that is not affiliated with any spiritual belief or religious practice. It aims to give students the ability to handle challenging situations and emotions in a thoughtful way. During the assembly, one student shared the story of how mindfulness had helped her keep a family member calm during an emergency.
Mrs. Olds reminded students during the assembly that mindfulness is like exercise for the brain, and that with practice, everyone can learn to “gently let go” of thoughts that are distracting or upsetting.
Mrs. Olds also reminded students that mindfulness can help in ways far beyond the classroom.
“Teachers aren’t just here to teach you,” Mrs. Olds pointed out. “We’re here because we want you to have the best life possible.”
To learn more about mindfulness in schools, check out this Parent Today article.