Top Six Mindfulness Tips For Primary Teachers
Primary school teachers are busy. Really busy. So using Smiling Mind in the classroom or embedding a mindful culture at school can be a tough process for some teachers to navigate. We decided to speak to some of the teachers from our community who use our app to find out their top tips and tricks for what works best in a Primary School setting:
- Have your own mindfulness practice. Primary teachers who have their own practice increase their own mental wellbeing and that of their students. If you have your own practice, you’ll increase the productivity of your classroom. For example, if you’re feeling stressed, try one of our quick grounding meditations before students come into class.
- Create a routine. Frequency is key. Pick a time of day that works for you, after lunch is the most popular as it helps students get back into work mode. Our research suggests that you’ll need to practice mindfulness in the classroom for at least 3 times a week for 5 minutes to start seeing the benefits.
- Empower your students. There are no hard and fast rules with our app. Smiling Mind is a tool that is there for you to use in whatever way works for you and your students. It can be a great bridge for students and teachers to learn about mindfulness, but then you might want to run your own mindfulness activities. For example, create a class roster for who is in charge of mindfulness for that week or perhaps encourage students to run their own mindfulness sessions.
- Create a mindful classroom. The space where students learn and play needs to inspire. It should feature reminders (what psychologists call mindfulness triggers) for students to feel calm, clear and connected. This environment is important in shaping their physical, mental and social health. Here’s a quick tip: co-creating the space can be a fun activity to do as a class at the beginning of the term. Get students to bring in their own cushion, or mindfulness trigger. We’ll be posting again soon about the best way to create a mindful space in your own school. Smiling Mind can also provide you with mindfulness posters that you can print and put up in your classroom.
- Get your colleagues on board. Especially Leadership. A whole school approach is the best way to go when promoting mindfulness. This includes other teachers and the leadership team. Principals especially are able to improve long-term outcomes. If you’re looking for a quick 101 on how to convince your colleagues to get onboard, visit our YouTube Channel to help you explain the concept of mindfulness or request to book in a staff PD workshop.
- Get parents on board. Encouraging parents to use Smiling Mind at home with their kids is a great way to see even more benefits for everyone. You'll find that if they have a practise at home, they'll build on this with you at school. If you need a little help to get them across the line, Smiling Mind can provide you with our tailored parent letter which you can send home that explains Smiling Mind and it’s benefits.
Good luck! We love hearing from our community so be sure to tag us on social media.
If you want to book a workshop, find out more information or simply share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.