A Reflection On Teaching Mindfulness In Schools

A Reflection On Teaching Mindfulness In Schools

Last week was the fourth week of helping teach mindfulness to two classes of middle school students. It has brought so many memories to my mind, waking up early and driving to school… Last weekend I heard of this double blind scientific study done where researchers were given a group of mice and told ‘this group of mice all performed below average on an intelligence test’ and the mice were then taken and run through some experiments. Another group of mice was the group that performed above average on intelligence tests. So not surprisingly the ‘below average’ group did worse on the tests than the ‘above average group.’ But the experiment was that actually there had been no intelligence test. The only difference between the two groups of mice was what the researchers had been told about one group versus the other. This really made me think about the power our own labels and beliefs have on our reality. And I became really aware this week at the middle school that the first class is the so called ‘gifted class.’ And the second class is not. And each week I am there, the other teachers and counselors always comment on this and comment on how much more unruly the second class is. They speak out more, get out of hand more, don’t follow directions as well. But I love this second class. They have a lot of energy. I see no difference in basic intelligence between the two classes. I just hope that the kids absorb something of value about mindfulness. And I actually don’t want them to use it to be more ‘well behaved.’ What I want is to see them use these teachings to free their own minds, their own awareness, their very being…

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