Mindful Minute- Classroom and Beyond

I recently had a TikTok video blow up (lol). It was one where I stated some of my ‘unpopular’ teacher ideas. It was met with overwhelming support and love- and only a few nay sayers telling me I should quit my job and never have kids. Charming humans, huh?

Within this video, I mentioned something that I do everyday with my students called the Mindful Minute. Many educators wanted to know more- SO I write this post in hopes that it reaches not only other educators- but ANYONE and EVERYONE in the work place.

It’s no secret that mindfulness is a big topic in the wellness pond, but I believe it is also making its way into the regular waters as well. So, let me tell you what it is, why I do it, and HOW I do it.

The Mindful Minute is a 1-2 minute time period that I use at the beginning of EVERY class period to check in with my students.

I do this to help my students relax, tap into their parasympathetic nervous system, reflect, and center themselves. I aim to teach them how to identify emotions and feelings, to reflect on their behaviors, and to help them learn how to check in on themselves.

The first part of the Mindful Minute has different variations. It starts by students putting their heads down on their desk or closing their eyes if they are comfortable. I turn off the main lights (I have strung fairy lights for a calming effect).

Then, for the next minute, we do one of the following (I change it up day by day).

  • one minute of silence (self explanatory- just a nice, quiet minute)
  • one minute of a guided meditation (relax their shoulders, release tension, feel the chair, the ground, etc.)
  • one minute of breathing exercises (box breathing, bubble breath, counting, etc.)
  • one minute of thinking through self reflection questions (What emotions have come up for you today? Who is someone you are grateful for right now? What type of student do you need to be this week? Etc.)
  • watch a one minute mindfulness or meditation video

After this part is over, we end the Mindful Minute with a check in.

While their heads are still down, I ask them, “How are you feeling today?” on a scale of 1-5. 1 being NOT good, 5 being fantastic. They hold up their number with their fingers as I scan the room.

This allows me to see how they are doing on an individual level. It also lets me take note of any patterns if students are continuously putting a 0, 1, or 2 up- I can make sure to check in with them privately. On the other hand, if a student puts up a 5- I also check in with them and see whats going on in their life!

The Mindful Minute brings humanity back into the classroom. It teaches students how to self reflect on how they feel, to think through reflection questions that they might not usually think about, and to learn how to self regulate- starting with the breath and body.

It has become such a part of our routine, that if I accidentally forget or skip it one day, my students will point it out. 😉

If you have any questions about this- please refer to this video, or ask any other questions you might have below. I LOVE talking about mindfulness in the classroom and the benefits of it.

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