My U6th have had their last lessons, leavers service and end of term fun. Now the exams start and for many of them this means the start of the stress. I particularly notice this is the boarding house. Even the students who aren’t that bothered are influence by those who take it very seriously, with colour coded mind maps, post it notes and highlighter pens all over bedroom floors. As a boarding house we have looked at stress relief in many ways. Film nights with chocolates and sweets has been the best received. Yoga and good old fashioned walks have not been as popular. We even tried mindfulness. This takes a lot of practice and a concertive effort which some 16 years olds struggle with. The girl boarders were to self conscious to take it seriously and would often end up giggling ( which is actually a good stress reliever), hence my leaving present to my U6th students. You see even though they joked at my suggestions, I often found them on their own, sitting very quietly. They would argue that they weren’t really doing mindfulness but ………… Obviously the ladybird books are teasing mindfulness, but then I don’t think they ( people who teach mindfulness) should take themselves that seriously. If they do then I think they could alienate themselves from a group who could benefit from the techniques.
Last February we had a guest speaker teach some basic techniques to the whole school. It was something to see, 700 students sitting in assembly with their eyes closed for 10 minutes. I have heard of other schools starting every day with mindfulness exercises. I would love to hear how students respond to this, and how it has helped with students well being. How has practicing mindfulness helped studentsespecially those with #mentalhealth issues? This is what I would really like to know and anyone that has any info on this I would love to hear from you.
Anyway back to my present, which most of them thought was funny and then proceeded to eat the sweets . If I am really honest with you I did get very strange looks from my overseas students. Not sure they got it the first time round and now probably think that I am now completely odd by giving a book which makes no sense. Oh well, what’s new.