Four Teacher Tips For Creating A Mindful Learning Space
The classroom where students learn (and play) is crucial in shaping their physical, mental and social health. We spoke to our community to find out what type of learning environment worked best to help promote mindful learning.
Creating a mindful space in your classroom and school is a big step, but doing it right can go a long way to ensuring mindfulness is embedded into the fabric of learning.
Here’s what a few teacher’s from the Smiling Mind community had to say about creating mindful spaces:
- Ask students to help create a mindful space. As a way to set up your mindfulness practice for the term it’s great to get the students involved in creating the space themselves. Open the floodgates, get their feedback and see what ideas they come up with! Maybe it’s bringing in cushions, blankets or making giant posters that say ‘Gratitude’ or ‘Kindness’ on them, or building a gratitude tree out of sticks that they’ve collected from the playground.
- Use visual stimuli and 'triggers'. In the classroom, give students constant reminders on what mindfulness is and how it works. Smiling Mind has posters that you can download and display in your classroom to promote a mindful space. Just email us and we’ll send these through. Display other objects that your students choose, such as plants, beanbags or wind chimes which can all act as triggers to promote mindfulness.
- Create a quiet corner or area. Give students a space where they can go to relax and calm down. This can be a general space where they can participate in mindfulness meditation or a simply a space where they can sit and read. Fill the space with things to promote mindfulness such as posters on the walls, cushions and throws for students to sit on or incense and candles for students to smell. Treat your mindful area as a space for both calm and learning.
- Have a meditation space outside. Research has shown that being out in nature and green spaces helps improve student’s learning and feelings of fatigue. With this in mind, designate a space outside or commit to a regular meditation outside with students so students can relax and connect with nature. It’s best to decide as a class as a good meditation spot outside that the class can use, this can be a tree or a nice patch of grass which can help students connect with nature. Or if this isn’t possible try and have some plants in your classroom as this has also been seen to be effective.
Good luck! We love hearing from our community so tag us on social media or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.