27. Mindfulness in the Classroom

Yes, I know–it’s been a while! I have not posted or recorded a podcast in quite some time–and I have a very simple explanation for that. You see, I simply did not have the motivation or the desire to make the podcast a priority in my life again as I readjusted to entering the classroom after my two-year hiatus from teaching when I served as a TOSA for my school district. However, I couldn’t think of a better person to restart my podcast than Brian Aikens.

Brian and I connected through Twitter a few years back and then something crazy happened–we realized that we live about 20 minutes from each other and have a few friends in common. Spend any time listening to Brian or reading what he posts online and one thing is certainly evident–he walks the walk when it comes to living a mindful life. Brian is a husband/father, special education teacher, competitor, and all-around good person. I think you’ll love this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it!

Here are some of the highlights and tips shared by Brian:

  • Relationships: One thing you’ll clearly see is the importance of building relationships in teaching and in life. Clearly the relationships Brian builds with his students and families have helped to make his class a better place.
  • “Be Where Your Feet Are:” Brian reminds us of his favorite definition of mindfulness–to simply be where your feet are. So many of Brian’s tips are meant to help you be more present in your life and teaching so that you can be there for your students.
  • Be Explicit: Like so many things in class, we need to explicitly teach our students how to be present and mindful in class. Brian gives a few quick and simple tips to help you do just that with your students.
  • Gratitude Journals: Brian starts each of his days with his students writing in their gratitude journals and talks about the importance of gratitude in all of our lives.
  • The Bell of Mindfulness: Brian discusses using “The Bell of Mindfulness” in his classroom–I immediately downloaded this Chrome extension after our discussion and love it!

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