My name is Hayley Mckenzie and I am a Primary School Teacher of five years. I am writing this letter because I have recently begun learning about and practising meditation and mindfulness, both in my own life and in the classroom. As I have been relief teaching for the last year, I have not had the benefit of seeing results over time in one classroom, however, what I have seen in various classrooms, even from just one session of mindfulness and meditation, has me convinced without a doubt that this practice NEEDS to become part of our every day curriculum.
Unfortunately parents should be responsible for a multitude of aspects of their children’s lives, including social, emotional, mental and physical well being. But we know that this is not always the case. I have used meditation for a number of reasons. Sometimes just to start the day, after the children have been playing outside on a hot day, if the children seem particularly unsettled, or just simply if there is time and sometimes because the children (of classes I frequently teach), request it.
I often ask for feedback from the children after we meditate. I ask ‘how do you feel?’ ‘Do you feel better than before?’, etc. The children often reply with comments such as, ‘I feel so relaxed’, ‘I feel clear and happy’. One older child who is particularly unsettled a lot of the time once told me that meditation was the only time he could get rid of his angry feelings. I’ve never forgotten that. So, again I would like to reiterate that in our fast paced, high pressure, technology heavy world, the practice of meditation and mindfulness in schools is paramount if we want our children to focus better, learn more, behave more calmly, and most importantly, feel happy and content.
Yours sincerely, Hayley Mckenzie