Practicing mindfulness isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is. We’re human, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in whatever is going on that we forget the tools we have to pause and process what is happening.
Today I wanted to share a quick story to illustrate that. It is a conversation I had with one of my colleagues (and I’m sharing with her permission).
We were talking at the end of the day on Friday, and chatting about how our week went and she expressed that she found herself getting caught up sometimes in things that might be occurring in the classroom, and feeling like that threw her off a bit in her teaching and her day.
#realtalk: When our students are coming into our classrooms A LOT is happening.
- Things are happening in the hallway
- Students are coming in and getting settled
- In our brains, we’re trying to transition from that last class period into this one or from our planning period into getting ready to teach a class
- We have multiple people coming in saying hello, getting situated
- And maybe even several people wanting our attention.
When those things occur around us, it can definitely stir up a little bit of distraction, right? And if something throws you off, you might find yourself feeling a little bit frazzled and all over the place – before you even get started on the day’s lesson.
But it’s your job to get into the lesson, and you want to be excited about the subject you’re teaching. That can often be a challenge when you’re being pulled in so many different directions.
I asked my colleague:
She replied: Yeah.
So then, based on our previous discussions around mindfulness, I asked the question:
What is a tool that you can use that might help you in this situation?
Because, sometimes, we just need to be prompted…even as adults!
Reminding her of the tools that we’ve discussed previously allowed her to pause and think for a moment and then she replied – I just need to take a deep breath.
Because taking a slow, deep breath in that moment of feeling frazzled allows her to regroup so she can see and think more clearly, which then provides her the opportunity to calm herself and feel more grounded.
She told me that she finds this one simple practice so helpful, both at school and in her personal life.
A good reminder for us all is that even when you have a consistent mindfulness practice, there are times that you’re going to react rather than respond.
Recently, I had a moment like that –
I gave a response to my classroom that was not great, based on what had happened in front of me.
I realized this after, and that’s when the mindfulness kicked in. It gave me an opportunity to step up and say to the students in front of me:
Wow. I’m sorry, that was not a good response. I’m gonna take a deep breath here. Let me rephrase what I just said.
Having the tools to do this helps us grow not only as teachers but as humans.
We’re not always going to be perfect. Or do or say everything perfectly.
And that’s okay.
Remember… progress over perfection.
Leave me a comment below or email me and let me know… have you had a similar experience? And how did you handle it?