Counter-remedy to testing… BREATHE!

Today, we had to give a common assessment in writing.

It is SO frustrating when you don’t have a whole lot of language for someone suddenly to say, “Write!” And then for you to have nothing to write about, because you don’t really know what this person wants.248x249xcmlnewlarge-300x300.png.pagespeed.ic.whX9LpOZe_

I’ve been thinking, though, this morning about how we might be able to use theater games to make our pain lessen… But that’s a post for another day.

After putting our students through torture, I left to see what was going on in Kevin Cross’s class. Where we did torture again. But I was sent an audio file after class was over.

One aspect of the mindfulness work that we are doing with Center for Mindful Learning is to get students to lead. We need to make them speak individually and to understand and own the task. So today, it sounds like what they did was breathe. And perhaps, after such an amazingly difficult task, that is exactly what they should have done.

I talked to Suzy after class, and she told me that the mindfulness work they did was just as challenging as the writing we did–just in a different way.

First, they did some positive talk. “Can you relax for five minutes?” Answer: “Yes, I can.”

After that, they tried to focus and concentrate on being relaxed for five minutes. Suzy said the atmosphere in the classroom went from being antsy and jittery to a really calm calm feeling. Lindsay was talking them through it, asking if they were staying focused, letting them know that if they weren’t, it was OK. They could find that focus again.

Afterwards, they talked about how hard it was, measuring with their hands. They put their hands close together to show it was easy for them, far apart if it was hard.

Suzy said as a teacher, it was difficult to NOT worry about managing behaviors. For her, it was not an easy task.

So we all have stuff to work on. And sometimes, it’s just giving up that bit of control. Wanna join us?

Take a minute or three.

Sit up straight.

And BREATHE!

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