But while all of that is going on, we are still teaching. We are not necessarily teaching our kids that we will receive, though we might have a few of them in our midst. We don't know that until the classes are set on Friday. This is something that challenges me year after year as I always strive to create purposeful learning opportunities. I stress over planning aspects because I find it difficult to make my teaching meaningful when I can't continue the journey with the same students. It's all about relationships.
Today we journeyed through the first stages of the MindUP program. I am a huge advocate for promoting social responsibility and self-regulation within students. I believe that everyone, no matter the personality or background, deserves an opportunity to develop the skills needed to become an independent and contributing citizen to their communities. This can translate in many ways depending on the needs of the learner, but as always, I'm challenging them to meet a higher standard than the one in which they enter my classroom.
MindUP is based upon deep-breathing exercises and metacognition. It allows students to understand the parts of their brain at work in social processes and to become more aware, or "mindful," of the impact they have on themselves and others. By using a common language in class that includes brain anatomy and neural processes, students begin to understand that they are truly in control of their reactive selves in social situations, both in the classroom and in real-world contexts.
Thanks for reading! I encourage you to comment below to tell your classroom's stories of building community, relationships, and mindful learners.