“Breathe in for five seconds, hold for one second, exhale for seven seconds.” Lausanne fifth-graders sat with their eyes closed, as Kelly Douglas, fifth grade English teacher, repeated the instructions again.
This meditating technique is part of the “Mindful Moment”, typically lasting from 30 seconds to two minutes, and it is how each teacher in Middle School starts every class period.
During the school year, long days and full schedules can seem overwhelming at times, especially for a student transitioning from Lower School to fifth grade, but taking a moment for mindfulness to sit down with the lights off, eyes closed and no noise gives students and teachers the opportunity to reflect and reset before conquering the curriculum.
“I have been teaching for 25 years, and I have taught with the Mindful Moment and without it, and I am a firm believer that it helps our children,” Mrs. Douglas said. “The Mindful Moment helps my students, but it helps me too. A teacher’s energy trickles down into the culture of a classroom, and having this moment helps me stay positive.”
At the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Douglas gave students an index card and asked them to write what the Mindful Moment meant for them and what they tend to think about while they are reflecting.
“It’s the only time throughout the day that I get to be alone with my thoughts,” wrote one fifth-grader on her index card. “It gives my brain a moment to relax, and I feel more prepared for class.”
The Mindful Moment parallels the MYP because of its efforts to have a balanced curriculum. Lausanne challenges its students, but taking a moment to reset gives them an opportunity to prepare for that challenge and gain the inner balance they need to be successful emotionally and academically.
This story provides a preview of the MYP in the 5th grade and was featured in the Fall 2018 Lausanne Magazine.