Listening to: How I Want Ya by Hudson Thames (Dawin Remix ft. Hailee Steinfeld)
I’ve gotta start this post with telling you about how freaking chatty of a group of students I have this year.
I have seriously 23 little chatterboxes on my hands and it is like pulling teeth to get them to sit quietly for even a small amount of time!
They had to miss their morning recess on Friday because of their bad report with the music teacher on Thursday. To which we had a talk about before they went. I had told them things like it is embarrassing for me, as their teacher, to always get told how they didn’t follow directions or listen during their Specials time. I reminded them that it is frustrating for the teacher when they feel like it is a day wasted because they weren’t able to teach anything and had continuous redirection.
None of it worked.
When I picked them up from the Music Room on Thursday, the music teacher said that it was maybe one of their worst days yet! My class did not take anything I said to them and applied it real time. The music teacher let me know that there were ELEVEN interruptions (in a 40 minute chunk, I might add) and EIGHT different times that someone shouted out.
I have said it before and I will say it again, all of the most talkative students in the school pass through my classroom each year as payback for all the stress and annoyance I have caused on my teachers growing up. I know it. I’ll fess up to it. I still won’t shut up sometimes…I’m working on it.
So when Friday rolled around and all I wanted was a good report from the music teacher, I realized that I would have to approach my students in a different manner.
I tried meditation.
Meditation is tricky with six year olds. They don’t really understand the concept yet, they just see it as an extended period of time that they aren’t allowed to move or talk…and they HATE it.
You should have heard the groans and sighs when I told them to spread out and close their eyes.
BUT, I am calling this praise post because I have to give myself a little bit of praise!
During Friday’s meditation, I asked them to picture the music room. Then to picture themselves in the classroom, with their classmates, with the teacher.
I asked them to picture a successful day in music and what that would look like to them.
I said a couple more prompts, and gave them two-three minutes to just meditate on that image.
They had a “SUPER” day in music that day. Their teacher said that they were able to get everything done that they needed too and their day on Friday “definitely made up for the day they had before”.
I was so happy for them! I let them know how proud I was of them and asked them to reflect on how hearing what was said about them made them feel.
It was a proud teacher moment for me, that not only did they finally have a good report, but that I chose the right way to have them look within themselves to find how they would be successful.
I can’t wait to go about different ways to meditate with them as the year goes on!
It has been a work in progress, but here are some meditational things that I have found successful with a group of littles.
1. They respond well with visuals. Guided meditations and metaphors will be your best friend.
Something that I always say to them is that when they are breathing through meditation they don’t want to tip their boat in their ocean (belly), so they have to breathe slow and steady.
Also, at the start of meditation, or when they are coming to the meeting space of the classroom, I tell them to drop their anchor. With their anchor they know that they should not be moving around and can rest their bodies.
2. Always start the meditation with **at least** a full minute of just still silence.
This helps them settle into the meditation. This way they don’t have to focus on anything and can begin to just sit in their own thoughts.
& 3. Throughout the day, I try to do less talking and more visual cues.
On both ends. I will try to give out more visual than verbal cues. And I will ask for visual cues from them to show understanding.
Our class, as a whole (meaning, me too), is working on this since we all love to talk so much!