This past week in my Learners and Learning Environments class at UVic we were talking about the benefits of teaching mindfulness in schools. Blair Stonechild, residential school survivor and Professor of Indigenous Studies at the First Nations University of Canada, describes how Indigenous Philosophy recognizes the four essential aspects of being: spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual. Out of those 4 aspects of being I put many hours into developing my intellectual and physical being but I spend limited time on my emotional/spiritual development. This is why I decided to learn more about mindfulness and meditation so that I could start strengthening my mind and soul. I also realized that if I am going to teach my own students about mindfulness, I first need to identify my own spirit.
Elementary school teachers have the important responsibility of educating the WHOLE student. This means teaching students not only how to read and write, but how to act socially and find their unique identities. A few techniques I learned in class to help students develop their spirits are as followed…
- complete guided meditations with your students
- have your students complete quiet self-reflections
- practice respecting and acquiring other virtues (humility, honesty, bravery…)
- take your students on nature walks & teach them that everything is a living thing & we need to respect them
- honor our ancestors
- teach students about emotional literacy
Any of these activities can help students identify more about who they are. It’s time parents/teachers start helping children become the best versions of themselves. Most of them time children need our help but don’t even know to ask for it.
I attached Blair Stonechild’s video if anyone is interested…