Why All Staff In Schools Should Be Practising Mindfulness

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A Guest Post by @sharonpage12hm

Mindfulness is a very simple way of seeing things in the present and focussing on the moment. Through mindfulness, you achieve calm and mental wellness.

Benefits of Mindfulness

* Encourages a calmer outlook and a clearer mind

* Improves mood and feelings

* Improves breathing and relaxation

* Improves Physical and Mental Health

* Improves Memory

* An effective way for reducing stress levels, tension and anxiety

And many more…

I have been a teaching assistant in a primary academy for over nine years; working with many of our most challenging children with behaviour issues or severe SEN. In addition, I am married with a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son.

Our principal introduced mindfulness as an optional workshop beginning last February. At the time, I had days where I felt stressed and anxious with work and home demands. I struggled to stay positive and was worried this would have an impact on my role. I attended the first workshop and this opened my eyes to a clearer and more

positive outlook. I started practising two months ago and I have noticed a real change immediately. I am calmer, more positive, relaxed and confident. This has had a direct impact on my role and life as a wife and mother. People at school and home are recognising the change and positively commenting on that change.

I believe the principles of mindfulness can have a large impact on the school community; this can start with the staff being encouraged to attend short 15 minute mindfulness workshops where they would focus on breathing, listening to meditation music and beginning to practice mindful self-awareness of thoughts and emotions. By bringing this into their own lives and practising at home, the positive impact can transform their mental wellbeing personally and professionally.

As a teaching assistant, I have to work closely with the class teacher. As I have become more mindful and feeling the positive impact on my life, I could see that the class teacher was suffering from the same stressed and anxious feelings I had been feeling. Thus, I encouraged the class teacher to attend the daily workshops the principal leads daily.

After the class teacher began to also practice mindfulness, we brought mindfulness into the classroom and are experiencing a calmer, more positive environment. The children are very receptive to the techniques and, hopefully, moving forward this will make a more confident positive student and our school a happy and calm environment to learn.

How can you achieve Mindfulness right now in just one minute?

This can be carried out anywhere at any time.

1. First find a comfortable position.

2. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.

3. Focus on each breath in and out.

4. Be aware of each inhale and exhale of air.

 

Sharon is a committed teaching assistant in an outstanding inclusive primary academy. She is dedicated to the children she works with and her family and is striving to find a balance between that dedication and her mental health and well-being. Follow her on twitter @sharonpage12hm

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