Why and How to introduce a meditation program in your classroom
Meditation has proven to encounter positive effects on the over-all well being of any individual, but are these effects enough to bring meditation into the classroom?
It’s easy to assume that meditation could be too difficult for kids to do or understand. However, in reality, meditation is simple, natural, and systematically learned by any individual at any age and of any religion, education, or background.
Over 700 scientific research studies over the past 35 years have shown that meditation greatly benefits our minds, bodies, and behaviors. In fact, there are many scientific findings for the study of meditation that is relevant to education.
The following are many things that can be improved from meditation that is practiced in the classroom:
– Academic achievements
– Intelligence and creativity
– Memory and learning ability
– Ability to focus
– Self-esteem and self-concept
– Moral reasoning ability
– Social behavior
– Student and teacher’s relationships
– Coherence of brain functioning
– Teacher effectiveness
– Energy and alertness
– Happiness and self-confidence
– Reduction of stress and anxiety
– Reduction of drug, alcohol, and cigarette usage
Now that we know the positive effects it can have in the classroom, how can we introduce a meditation program in our local classrooms? Of course, it will take a good amount of, space, time, training, and resources to successfully produce a meditation program, but nevertheless, it can be done!
Here are 7 things to think about for a successful classroom meditation program.
1. Educate your district and community about meditation and how it can help in the classrooms. When people really know the potential positive effects a program like this could have our students and teachers, people will begin to get involved.
2. It is important for students and teachers to feel a a sense of ownership to keep the program going. The community has to decide that they want this then the program will carry on successfully.
3. Consistency is a must for the program’s structure and schedule. If students do this meditation at the same time each day, it will be more likely to become habit forming. When you build this program with the correct structure and schedule, the school’s culture will have some sense of unity.
4. Trust is important for a successful meditation program. Closing your eyes for several minutes can feel strange especially to students who come from danger-prone backgrounds. It’s important for the students to feel safe.
5. Relevance allows students to piece together why meditation is important to them specifically and personally. The feeling of being more focused and less stress can be too abstract to some students. Make a connection with a focused mindd and a student’s own challenges such as athletic performance or academic achievement.
6. Offering student’s incentives may help the success of a meditation program in the classroom. Of course, students will be getting positive effects from the meditation, but sometimes they need something more tangible to reward them in the program. Offer pizza parties or other rewards every so often to the classrooms who have the most students meditating during the program.
7. Training in Meditation needs to be addressed for a successful meditation program in the classroom. Individuals will need experience before practicing it in the classrooms. There are many ways to learn and published guidelines you can follow to make a meditation program the best it can be.