I love my profession! I think most professions in the 21st century provide opportunities for life long learning, but I guess not many offer as many opportunities as the field of Education. I love learning along with, and from, my students. Here is an example of some of my most recent learning with students.
At the end of our last unit, we were getting ready to plan and take meaningful action as a result of our learning. I had also just completed judging one of the summative assessment tasks from the unit, a research-based essay. One of the re-teaching points I got from judging those essays was related to one paragraph having one main idea. I had also be reading about Social Emotional Learning, as that is one of my ongoing PD goals for this year…one evening, I got an idea about how I could incorporate all three things into a couple of my upcoming classes.
In class, we read an article by Alan Wallace that focused on breathing and body awareness mediation. When reading the article, we identified the ONE main idea of each paragraph. For homework that week, students were asked to attempt the mediation practice explained in the essay we had read. I began practicing this type of mediation again as well. WOW! It was hard, and rewarding. The rewarding part was the feeling of calmness and focus that I had after completing a 30 minute mediation session.
Here are some excerpts from students, which came from reflecting on their homework:
I felt like it was a vacation from homework…I mean, I was doing homework but it didn’t feel like it.
It was hard to sit still.
After I mediated for 30 minutes, it was much easier than normal to focus on the rest of my homework.
It was hard at the beginning because my little sister kept coming in to my room, after I asked Mom to keep her out of my room it was easier to concentrate.
I felt so peaceful and calm.
I kept having other thoughts coming into my mind and it was hard not to look at the clock. I think it would be easier if I tried again next time.
As part of the reflection we talked about challenges people had, then brainstormed solutions. For example, many people talked about distractions (family, noises, etc). One of the solutions was to be sure and let other people in your house know what you are doing; by making others aware of our intentions, it helps them be more mindful about causing distractions (a prime example of something I “re-learned” with my students).
To go further with this experience, as well as our unit learning, we then created a calm and quiet environment in our classroom and mediated before planning meaningful action.
My next post will be about the action we are taking…
What do you love about the profession of Education?