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Why Schools Need Mindfulness

by Patti Ward, M.Ed. I have been in the field of education for over 35 years. Over those years, I have witnessed schools becoming much more complex, more expectations for both teachers and students, and more pressured filled as each year has passed. Administrators, teachers and students are pretty much exhausted at the end of a school year. Higher expectations, more content, critical thinking, complex math skills, summative and formative assessments throughout the school year, teacher evaluations that rely on student performance, the list goes on and on. Wow, I am exhausted just talking about it. From what I have …

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First Mindfulness Family Day

by Patti Ward, Mindful Schools Certified Instructor “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. —Robert Lewis Stevenson I am very happy to report that we had a wonderful first family day. It was an opportunity for parents to participate in mindfulness activities with their children. We learned about some of the brain science behind mindfulness, practiced mindful listening, mindful breathing, mindful movement with Qigong movements, and a heartfulness family practice. Each family created a “Gratitude Jar” to take home and add to in the weeks ahead. We shared an article from the …

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Planting Seeds

by Patti Ward, M.Ed. On May 21st, we will be offering our first Mindfulness Family Day. We hope you will be able to attend. It is open to anyone who has attended any of our children and teen classes, or to anyone new to mindfulness who would just like to check it out. Parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings—all are welcome. Sometimes, teaching mindfulness to children and teens is more about “planting seeds” than reaping a harvest. Some of the students come to class and just soak up all the different ways they can be mindful. They practice mindful walking …

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Looking for the Good

By Patti Ward, M.Ed. “Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.” —Rick Hanson Last night was our 7th class for Mindfulness & Tai Chi for Middle School. We delved into the idea of “soaking in the good.” We talked about how our minds are highly conditioned to recognize patterns, particularly patterns that suggest something around us is threatening. Noticing a stick on a path and thinking it was a snake kept us safe. Whether it was a snake or not, our initial response, “jump and run,” was necessary for survival. Scientists call this the …

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