More and more teachers are turning to mindfulness as a strategy to improve the classroom and it is no wonder: mindfulness will improve academic performance, social interactions, atmosphere, academic outcomes and more.
Since Kellie Norrgard began teaching mindfulness more than 10 years ago, there have been numerous studies proving the benefits of a collective deep breath taken in the classroom. And to the delight of teachers around the globe, the studies prove that the frustration of negotiating with kids to improve behavior is far less effective than practicing mindfulness. Meditation is in fact an asset to you as you guide a classroom. Reports from the David Lynch Foundation, the British Journal of Psychology and Developmental Psychology all show that teachers who incorporate mindfulness into their daily routines are seeing a dramatic improvement in both their personal wellbeing and in the performance of their students.
Schools that incorporate meditation are seeing:
- Decreased suspension rates
- Decreased teacher turnover
- Improved social behavior among students
- A decrease in ADHD and hyperactivity symptoms
- Less depression (among students AND teachers)
- Better focus and self-control
- Improved math score results in standardized testing
So it follows that teachers are infusing their classrooms with mindfulness and meditation. More and more teachers are simply breathing with their students. And they are seeing results in real time. In a 2016 study conducted by the University of North Carolina, scientists spent time with preschoolers practicing meditation. After just 2 weeks the kids were more attentive and aware, demonstrating more gratitude and overall happiness as compared to another control group that did not have the same practice. But perhaps the most compelling part of the study was the rate at which the exercise showed impact-the improvement was evident almost immediately.
These studies bring home what Imagined Balance has known and practiced for years. Kellie Norrgard has worked in schools developing curriculum so that teachers can incorporate meditation and mindfulness into the daily routine, and therefore improve the performance and atmosphere. She has developed a program for teachers to use, and she tailors it to the teacher, classroom and students so that each school Imagined Balance works with gets a very personalized program.