The one practice that helped me the most was cultivating the attitude of letting go.
I had to let go of the idea that:
As I began to ask myself what was most important, I found and began to rely on additional resources to create a predictable pattern for my students during a very unpredictable time. I invited our school counselors in my classroom lessons to help them connect with those students who I saw needed more emotional support than I could provide. I also found two web-based tools that encouraged more independence from the students, yet still gave me assurance that they were engaged on their own time in learning and practice.
One tool consisted of a weekly Pear Deck presentation of lessons and activities which I facilitated where students were able to respond live for synchronous lessons as well as while they were working asynchronously. This method helped me to provide ways of engagement that didn’t exacerbate students’ anxiety or intrude on their privacy and as well, included participation from the at-home learners at the same time as the in-class learners.
The other tool which I used was posting weekly yoga practices from YouTube’s Yoga With Adriene on Edpuzzle and a simple reflection question at the end. The reflection questions encouraged students to think about how it felt to move and connect with their breath, especially after countless hours of sitting in front of a screen. Focusing their “participation points” on their daily reflection responses showed me how much the practices were helping them manage their stress during this time.
I am so very grateful to have been able to teach students about mindfulness based practices during this time and to be on this learning journey with them.