A few months ago I was at one of Sunita from Lucky Things meet-ups and she talked about “shouting quietly” about our achievements. This phrase, as well as lots of other tips that I’ve picked up from her talks, has stayed with me and helped me be less shy about my successes. It also inspired me to write this blog post.
Since qualifying with MISP 18 months ago I have worked in different schools with a range of age groups teaching young people mindfulness. The feedback has been hugely positive and encouraging. The students, and their teachers, are very sure of why it is an important skill to develop. They emphasise how sessions:
Help with Stress Management and Problem-Solving
“If there are children that have issues at home, not severe ones, then these mindfulness sessions help a lot and make a huge difference. I have been using mindfulness ever since.”
A Y7 student
“Mindfulness has helped the children to cope with whatever stressful scenario they may face. As their class teacher, I have had the benefit of seeing the children grow, mature and develop confidence by working through the mindfulness programme with Hayley. We are very grateful for all that she has taught us.”
A Year 6 teacher
Help Focus, Concentration and Behaviour
“I have found the sessions helpful in many ways. Academically, they have helped with my concentration during days of revision and coursework; they have also helped me to think logically about my workload rather than becoming overwhelmed making my time management and revision strategies more efficient.”
A Y13 student
“The mindfulness sessions have been brilliant and we have seen a real impact on the children’s behaviour and their ability to cope with stressful situations.”
A Year 5 teacher
Help Bring Calm
“Very interesting and useful! Helped me calm down alot!”
A Y7 Student
“I really enjoyed the sessions. They were a very peaceful way to end the school day and I found my focus was better when I got home.”
A Y13 student
Help Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
“I can say confidently that these sessions are a brilliant way to help students understand issues from stress to self-confidence in an environment that wasn’t intimidating and that didn’t delve too deeply into our personal lives. It helped us understand these struggles and find methods to deal with them which is so much more effective than anything I’ve come across in school.”
A Y13 student
Since qualifying to teach mindfulness via the WorkplaceMT course nearly a year ago I have also run courses for adults.
As well as commenting on similar benefits as the children the feedback from the adult course highlighted how participants on the course:
Begin to Prioritise Self-Care
“I found the course very inspiring, it was great to take time out. Hayley was very encouraging and prompted great discussion from the group during our weekly meetings.”
“Hayley has a calm and friendly manner which made me feel at ease in the class from the very beginning. She is very knowledgeable and helpfully relates some of the more theoretical ideas to real life. She coached us a wide range of informal and formal mindfulness practices in a supportive and soothing way. She checked in between sessions via email which was really helpful in reminding me what I should be doing! However, Hayley made no judgement on us if our home practice had not been carried out – she created an atmosphere where we felt happy to talk about what we had and hadn’t done! I recommend this course to anyone who is new to mindfulness or to those who’d like a refresher, or simply a dedicated space and time each week to focus on their practice. Thank you Hayley!”
So if your interest has been piqued about mindfulness for you or your child then there are a couple of things you may want to do.
If you would like your child to be taught mindfulness in a rigorous and worthwhile way at school then do speak to a member of the school’s senior leadership team about getting a qualified mindfulness teacher in. You can find someone who has done the ‘Mindfulness in Schools Project’ training on this map. If you live in or around London and Kent feel free to point them in my direction!
If you would like to do a course yourself I would recommend finding a course run by a qualified teacher in your local area. Again if you are London or Kent based then feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.