Mindfulness In Schools Initiatives
Mindfulness is a practice many schools are starting to use to help students deal with stress and other challenges that confront children today. Mindfulness in schools initiatives support students by teaching them how to keep themselves centered, and become the best that they can be! Acceptance and knowing what we can and can't change is key in mental well-being. The things that cause stress, anxiety and worry are as varied as there are individual people.
Today's kids have so many more stressors and anxieties than past generations as a product of our modern world. However, studies have shown that teaching kids relaxation techniques at an early age can improve test scores, sleep, hygiene, social skills, and compassion - not to mention overall health! Program creator and Presenter, Brian Chevalier, has packaged all of this information into a fun and engaging, 45 minute, musical presentation! Guaranteed to leave your students more relaxed and with the tools they need to relax in the future.
Teaching Mindfulness In School Assemblies
The strength of this program is in its’ simplicity. Students already possess the skills to be mindful in their everyday lives. When students are intently working on a drawing, or running carefree on the playground they are simply being present. Their minds are not lost in worry about the past or worry about the future....they are just "being present."
Brian's program Mindfulness - Freedom Within, achieves several goals. First, through a line of inquiry, Brian helps students realize that they ALREADY possess the skills necessary to practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Your school will experience some mindful breathing and learn when it might be useful to employ. They will also learn that there is more to mindfulness than breathing and meditating. Other important points and "tools" connected to mindfulness are things like gratitude, empathy, acceptance, being of service to others, and impermanence (this too shall pass).
Once students realize that they ALREADY possess the skills necessary to practice daily mindfulness, Brian points out when and how we can intentionally use these skills (that we already possess). We can intentionally these skills when we are feeling stressed, worried, and anxious. Having these mindfulness skills already within us is kind of like having a superpower...the only question is....when and how do we use these superpowers to help ourselves stay present, calm and mindful?
As much as teaching the students the important principles and techniques behind mindfulness, Brian is giving teachers ideas to use in their classroom to help create an atmosphere of mindfulness. Brian does not expect, especially the younger kids, to remember all of the ideas from the assembly. That's where the teachers can come in by reminding the kids of these ideas.
Brian's experience conducting workshops in schools for over twenty years allows him to work well with all age groups. One of the consistent pieces of feedback Brian receives from educators is the strength of his lines of inquiry. Rather than telling kids the information, he weaves stories and music together with the most important part of the dialogue...the students' own thoughts and ideas.
A mindfulness residency usually culminates with a fun, interactive performance in which the students are engaged and present. Brian presents his fun, character based songs and ties mindfulness into character education ideas like empathy, respect and being of service to others.
This one day program can stand alone or is sometimes combined with a second day focusing on Songwriting. Brian leads the students through the songwriting process where the students brainstorm and write lyrics based on their experience on Day One of the program, as well as their knowledge of mindfulness. Having a song, that they created, helps students remember the strategies that they already possess, and empowers them to use these superpowers to have mindful, calm and happy days.