Mindfulness in middle school is becoming a new practice that helps students focus, and be in a positive frame of mind
After the first bell at Sacramento’s Albert Einstein Middle School, eighth graders listened, eyes closed, as calm swept across the classroom while history teacher Thomas McKenna guided them to a mindful state.
Before McKenna read the poem “Guest House” by Jalal al-Din Rumi he intoned a guided meditation. “An emotion comes in. You acknowlege kit. And you move on”, he said before reading the poem which encouraged students to meet dark thoughts and shame “at the door laughing”.
Mindfulness encourages students to practice being in the present, putting aside anxiety from the past and the future. The idea is to acknowledge events and distractions, and then set them aside so that living in the present moment is possible.