“Respond, don’t react. Listen, don’t talk. Think, don’t assume.” Raji Lukkoor
I was invited to a meeting at my son’s school yesterday evening, to discuss his forthcoming exams and how best parents can support their children during this potentially stressful period.
I was pleasantly surprised when one of the teachers presented a section on the school’s responsibility for the emotional well-being of its students and how they have begun to successfully use Mindfulness to alleviate pupil’s anxiety.
As a Mindfulness Coach I was interested to stay behind to chat to this teacher afterwards and learned he had been researching Mindfulness personally for a long time and had fought hard to get it included within the school. He had been quite nervous publicly talking about it, anticipating he may be met with scepticism. He strongly believed however that since using Mindfulness techniques with the children that wanted to take part, exams results had improved, absences declined and the feedback from teachers and children alike was that a huge calming effect had taken place.
Having used these techniques for my eldest son who completed his A’Levels last year I know Mindfulness is an invaluable and lifelong tool that I hope to see as standard on curriculum’s everywhere eventually. One of the most beneficial things we can ever learn is how to take care of our minds. Once we develop the ability to look inward and fully connect to the present moment anxiety and stress reduces and calmness and clarity prevails – an optimum condition for learning.
With league tables being scrutinised and Ofsted reports demanding a higher and higher teaching standard there is no doubt the world of education is becoming more and more pressured for both staff and pupils.
I was saddened to learn last night that although there is plenty of support in place for the children the staff were not being offered the same. With teacher absences through stress and sickness at an all time high I hope staff well-being comes high on the list of priorities. After all, if we don’t care for the staff who will ultimately educate our children?