Even when children are not talking to one another and creating classroom distractions, there are likely distractions within the mind. It may not be obvious, but it is often visible to a trained professional. Teachers are educated to work with children and understand how they learn in order to more effectively educate them. This correlates to understanding how children act and look when they are not concentrated or actively learning.
To halt this internal chatter, teachers can lead classroom-wide meditation moments. In between subjects, two minutes can be spared to calm the students and reconnect their minds to the class. One meditation technique is called calming meditation, in which students will visualize an object or place when meditating. This is also known as going to your “happy place”, and students can return to the environment they have developed in their mind in order to relax and destress. Additionally, teachers may improve overall focus with focused meditation. This includes regulated breathing, such as counting breaths or deep belly breathing. Over time, students will be self disciplined to focus on the specific task of breathing, which will transfer to the classroom. When the class is feeling particularly negative or the teacher is consciously aware that the students are stressed, resting meditation may be the best option. Students can stay seated or lay down, and simply rest the body and mind for a few minutes. They do not need to focus on a specific breathing technique and can allow the mind to wander for a timed period. Teachers may incorporate the above strategies into the classroom, and combine these techniques to lead meditation moments.
Another significant aspect of improving classroom focus and decreasing potential distractions is education. Teachers can promote mental health by educating students about the importance of meditation and yoga, which both aim to ease the mind. If there is not time to integrate meditation into class lessons, then perhaps assigning meditation or yoga as homework can help solve internal chatter. Provide breathing exercises, yoga videos, and stretching poses. Students should have fun with these tasks, and find that they are a relaxing alternative to the typical homework provided.
If you are not sure how to start with the correct meditation strategies, then try this. Set goals for students to do 2 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of stretching, and 15 minutes of walking or another exercise. Choose a different breathing technique each week for students to try, and eventually allow for them to choose which technique they enjoy the best. Teach the stretching poses to students before they need to copy them on their own, and communicate to parents about these goals.
To learn more about halting the classroom internal chatter and finding methods to improve focus, discover Cre8 Space Meditation: https://www.cre8spacemeditation.com/educational-programs. They also lead student meditation programs, which can be held virtually!