Today, as I was working one-to-one with a student at school for math time, she was particularly fidgety and unfocused. Math is certainly not her favorite subject and I was trying to push through some review questions for a pre-test. Our time together was short today and I thought we would whiz right through the few problems we had since she had done fairly well with this chapter. However, today this little one had a different plan and tried every “work-avoidance trick” in the book!
After some time, I was noticing that I was feeling frustrated and getting a little grouchy and impatient. I became aware I was meeting resistance with resistance and so I dropped everything and told her we were going for a walk around the building. She was a bit surprised but happily bounced out the door, feeling victorious in escaping the work. As we walked, I asked her questions related to using her senses which is a “grounding” strategy in mindfulness practices. I began to ask her questions such as “What colors do you see?” …”What do you hear?” …”What else?” …”What does the air feel like?”… “Can you smell anything?” We did this “game” as we walked around the building which took us just a few minutes. We then went back into the room, resumed working on the math problem we had abandoned, and within 30 seconds she finished the problem! It’s moments like this that I wish I had an ongoing video recording of our sessions together, or that some researcher sat behind a double mirror and had documented what just took place. It’s jaw dropping to see the difference! It’s micro-moments like this that remind me why I love to learn about and practice mindfulness. It’s simple, yet not always easy to remember to do! It’s grounded in science and has been proven over and over to make a difference. Using the senses, a quick little brain break in school, really makes sense!
May this be a REminder to YOU how we can easily integrate mindfulness throughout our day!
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.” ~John Burroughs
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at Shell Beach Elementary school on May 14
Sm’Heart Skills: The essential education for responding more skillfully to life in the 21st Century!