Meditation Made My Students Calmer and More Attentive!
Teaching hundreds of students made me realize that the students today can barely find time to breathe fresh air. They are so engrossed in the day to day activities, from classes and exams to social gatherings that they have no time for themselves. This leads to negative impact on their grades, health, and personal relationship.
I understood that the academic curriculum is not sufficient. In the ever-changing environment, who knows if the things we are teaching today will be relevant tomorrow? So I decided to help my students prepare and deal with the stress effectively.
I practiced meditation myself and was confident it could impact my children in a positive manner. I was working in a primary school in an underprivileged area. The children needed discipline and time. And I was determined to make a positive experience for them. So as the year began, I tried daily mindfulness and meditation in my class and this is what happened.
I executed the 'relax' moments three times a day as soon as the class started. They knew when they hear this music in class, it is a sign to stay quiet and take few deep breaths. In addition to this, I also had a full hour of meditation each week with stretching and visualisation activities. I saw a huge difference it was making. My students were happier even if it was just for a while.
After a few sessions, they were calmer and more settled discussing their feelings more fluently. But that does not imply that the process went smoothly completely. The first session was a major flip. Only three students out of 32 could actually follow. The turning point was when a boy asked if he could lead it. He stood at the front of the class and led his friends through some of our exercises. This child was very awkward in front of people and always in trouble - yet there he was, leading his classmates to a much calmer place.
Since that moment, the children started taking turn to lead the sessions, which has proved to be exceptionally powerful. The student's behaviour has also improved. Two boys in particular, who were frequently destructive in class, are kinder to others and work harder.
However, I am not denying that reading, writing, maths and so on are crucial to a child's development. But I can't accept the idea that these are the only skills our children need - we have to prepare them to deal with real life too. After all, isn't that what schools are for?