Monday, May 15, 2017

Mindfulness in the Classroom (and Beyond)

In yoga last week, the teacher gently repeated a mantra that stayed with me throughout the session. 

"Let your mind rest on your breath,"
resounded in the quietness.
We engaged in the stillness
as our minds disengaged. 
A gentle voice retraced the message.
"Let go of your to do lists.
Focus on the breath."
Mindfulness floated
in spaces surrounding us. 
Peace prevailed. 
©CVarsalona, 2017

It was a timely message since I was preparing for the #NYEDChat convo centering on "Mindfulness in the Classroom and Beyond." Building momentum for a successful chat is key.

What transpired was noteworthy. The above poster, illustrated by the beloved author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, was retweeted by educators, parents, and students for days prior to #NYEDChat. Thoughtful questions were prepared by the wonderful author, poet, and yoga/mindfulness instructor, Susan Verde, and I repeatedly sent out the question flyer via Twitter. The publicity campaign continued on FaceBook. We were definitely ready  for a chat that would engage people and students from many corners of the world beyond New York State. 

A transcript of the chat was promptly provided by Participate. It can be can be found here

What does it take to deliver a topic, engage an audience, and provide an opportunity for people to network with each other?

  • Mindful intent
  • Positivity
  • Focused Topic
  • Great advertising campaign
  • Passionate moderators and participants (Peter and Susan heated up Twitter, making #NYEDChat trend in the early part of the convo.)
  • Stamina
  • Gratitude

Upon a quick relook at the chat I realized that the above bulleted points were evident throughout the conversation. Moderators and participants came into the chat with an excited attitude and positive perspective. Everyone was mindfully attending to the topic at hand, providing responses, resources, and sidebar conversations with each other. The topic focused us on the importance of having students learn mindfulness in their early years. Passion was present and in high degrees. Because of the high volume of tweets, stamina was needed to stay in the flow. Everyone was grateful for the moderators' thoughtful questions and responses.

Reflecting on the chat has made me aware of the high energy of educators, parents, and teachers who voluntarily join evening chats. There seems to be an endless thirst for knowledge and consistency in positive perspectives. 

I leave you with gratitude for our guest moderators' enthusiasm to prepare for and engage in the chat. In addition, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the participants for their eagerness to learn alongside Peter H. Reynolds and Susan Verde. 


Stay tuned for Part 2 in which I will dig deeper into the chat to highlight the positives. I offer this post to Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesday, "a meeting place for a world of reflective writers" where educators share weekly slices of their lives.

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