For the past 25 days, I have started meditating. I looked into it after I interviewed the great Jen Kanwisher from Oak Park and River Forest High School. In our interview (see it here) Jen explained how physical movement and meditation can help alleviate so much stress and anxiety so many of our students have in a school day.
While I’m no expert in meditation, I have learned a few things in my first 25 sessions. I found the app called Headspace for my iPhone and installed it. The first 10 sessions were free so I said what the heck. During the first ten sessions, I learned so much about the way the mind needs exercise in order to maintain focus and alleviate anxious thoughts. The voice in the app takes you step by step through your sessions and with intermittent videos, it explains your mind and how it can be a friend or foe in everyday life.
After ten sessions, I had had to pay a subscription fee to continue. I am not big on subscriptions and had to think long and hard on this one. It was only $99 for an entire year but that is enough to stifle an old dude like me. Just then… as with any online app… a special one year offer for $49 came across my screen. I am not dumb enough to think this was a miracle and was a sales pitch and I bought anyway. Now 25 sessions in (still in the beginners stages) I am seeing my reactions to things and people around me, specifically my family, are becoming better. I find my anxiety levels reduced. As a matter of fact, this evening my daughter accidently spilled milk across the dinner table. I know that sounds cliche, but it happened. I would usually huff and puff about this inconvenience but tonight was different. My reaction was so relaxed, my 13 year old son commented that he really liked the way my wife and I handled the situation without screaming!
This next year, I have a new job with a new team and will be teaching new classes. It will be a learning experience indeed. I feel with meditation and exercise, I will be ready to take on this new year. I think there should be a space for all teachers and students to meditate every day if they choose to do so. It should actually be a part of the curriculum. I would love to see more schools take this on.
Another idea to #disrupteducation