Planning For It

When You Might Use This Practice

  • In the middle of class or during a break
  • Any time during the school year, but especially when you or other staff members may be facing a challenging or stressful time
  • During a staff meeting or training

 

Time Required

  • ≤ 15 minutes

 

Materials

  • None

 

Learning Objective

School staff will:

  • Practice locating the center of gravity in their body and quietly focusing their attention there

 

Additional Supports

 

SEL Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management

How To Do It

Reflection Before the Practice

If you’re leading this practice with a group of teachers, take a moment to try it with yourself. How do you feel after practicing it?

Instructions

Overview

  • This is a simple technique to gather your energy and attention to help you feel more grounded and centered in the present. You can do this practice inconspicuously any time you feel the need.

 

The Practice

  • Stand with our feet about shoulder width and relax your knees so that you don’t lock them.
  • Bring your attention to a point in your abdomen about two inches below your navel and about an inch into your body. This is the actual center of gravity of your body. (Focusing attention on this point is used in most martial arts to gather and generate vital energy.)
  • Spend a few minutes focusing on this point and feeling gravity connecting your body to the earth.

 

Source

Adapted from Mindfulness for Teachers by Patricia A. Jennings. Copyright © 2015. Published by W. W. Norton. Excerpted by permission of the publisher.

Reflection After the Practice

How did this practice make you feel? If you did this practice with your staff, how did they respond to it?

The Research Behind It

Evidence That It Works

Teachers who practice mindfulness for just a few weeks report a range of positive outcomes, including a decrease in burnout, stress, anxiety, and depression. They also experience physical health benefits, including better sleep quality.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Taking a moment to center ourselves can help us to become less reactive to mental events as well as real-life events. With time, we can then learn to respond more constructively to stressful experiences and interpersonal conflicts at school and at home. Indeed, teachers who practice mindfulness report reduced interpersonal problems and more emotionally supportive relationships with the students in their classrooms.

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.”
–Mario Fernandez