If creating a program that incorporates mindfulness seems like something that would be beneficial, your very first step should be to educate yourself on mindfulness. There are many resources available that provide introductions to mindfulness, including a variety of online classes and apps that you can download for free on your phone.
It is recommended that you have a personal mindfulness practice in place as you attempt to incorporate it into other areas of your life. The understanding you gain and the tools that you acquire in your personal practice will help you in your work of sharing mindfulness with others.
To introduce mindfulness concepts into your program you could:
- Begin each staff meeting with a deep breathing, centering activity. Encourage employees to take time to become present in the moment and to return to the present moment if they find they have drifted away during the meeting.
- Provide staff with time to check in with their emotions before addressing conflicts. Coach employees to use deep breathing before responding to coworkers, parents, and children.
- Model mindfulness to staff members, families, and children. Your actions speak louder than words, which is why having a personal practices is recommended.
- Host a mindfulness event for parents, children and staff. Schedule time for an introduction to mindfulness, demonstrations of a few mindful practices, and Brainstorming of how these activities could be used in different situations.
- Invest in mindfulness related professional development for your staff. Invite parents to participate as well.
- Include tips, tricks, and 1-minute mindfulness activities in your regular communication with families (newsletters, social media posts, emails, etc.). You could also share mindfulness activities with staff by posting ideas in the staff room, bathroom, or other common area.
- Share resources with families about the benefits of practicing mindfulness with children. There are a few resources available in the Additional Articles section of this newsletter.
Do you have other ideas for introducing mindful practices into your program? Tell us about them on our Facebook here.
For the Main Article on Mindful Classrooms, CLICK HERE.
For Mindful Classroom Infant and Toddler Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.
For Mindful Classroom Preschool Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.
For Mindful Classroom School-Age Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.