“Our daily classroom practices include daily mindful breathing, explicit teaching of what thoughtful listening is . . . community building exercises and deep conversations about holistic learning . . .”
Mindfulness over matter is my space to practice what I preach. A space that reflects that learning comes from passion, creativity, and play. Through mindful listening and thoughtful and responsive teaching I construct and reconstruct my professional practice to meet the needs of the students in front of me. Our daily classroom practices include daily mindful breathing, explicit teaching of what thoughtful listening is (what it looks like and feels like), community building exercises and deep conversations about holistic learning (such as sleep habits, healthy eating and exercise).
Building a learning community where it is safe to be vulnerable, take risks and believe that there is more than one way for us to get to where we want to go. There is not always one right answer, one path, or one way of being. My recent focus on math lends itself so well to the mindful classroom. The standard used to be summarized in pragmatic terms: ‘Being good at math means you answer the teacher’s questions fast, right, and easily’ (Zager, 2017). However, mindfulness over matter is the concept of providing access for all students to creatively engage in meaningful hands on learning experiences in a classroom that values risk taking, persistence, and courage. We believe there are many ‘right’ ways to get to an answer. Learning takes patience and time, and grappling with concepts. This is not ‘easy’ but it is a worthy challenge.