The intention in most schools is a good one of finding the best way to teach children. Much focus is on acquiring skills, implementing right pedagogic principles and teaching strategies. Yet the teacher and her ‘beingness’ is often neglected in all this striving and so is the learning space between the teacher and child.
Research shows what we intuitively know, that a critical element in the learning process is who the teacher is and not just the subject matter or content. The personhood of the teacher and the context of the learning environment are vital for children to learn in a way that is nourishing to their own being. It is through a caring relationship and the Presence of a compassionate teacher that can perhaps lead them into a fuller responsiveness to life.
Our engagement with Swadhaa Waldorf Learning Center with teachers, parents, children and staff over seven years, our programs and interactions with the Kaveri Group of Schools in Pune, with Aman Setu, RBA Academy and MFK Foundation, Symbiosis Internationare examples of some solid long-term work in this area.
In partnership with many schools and facilitators, Just Being had also initiated the Mindfulness in Education Movement Conclave in 2013, sowing the seeds of mindfulness practice in 10 schools in and around Pune.
Any school or educational institution interested in bringing the transformational practice of Mindfulness and Compassion in their institution.
Our programs on Mindfulness are a long-term engagement with schools. Mindfulness practice is like a drop of elixir that slowly changes and transforms consciousness. This changes the engagement with ourselves, others and in education the very form and shape that education can take.
Our programs look at a step by step way with a four phased program that looks at intrapersonal, interpersonal, collective awareness and its extension into community.
The following areas are looked at:
- Mindful Awareness, Compassion and Presence for the teacher
- Mindfulness in the Classroom
- Mindfulness, Compassion, Resilience as part of the learning process and embedded in the curriculum
- Mindfulness for the whole school and extension into the community
Mindfulness and Compassion meditation, explorations through use of art, clay, self-reflection, journaling, nature based explorations, drumming, discussions in dyads, triads and in the group, use of poetry, music and movement (as suitable to the group)
Rationale: The modalities used help to bring people in connection with a non-conceptual understanding of Mindfulness and to a sense of ‘beingness’ within themselves. From this space comes deep clarity, wisdom and a natural opening of the heart. The cognitive aspects, self-reflection and facilitated discussions then help to weave these insights and connect it with everyday life experiences and how these insights might be applied in daily living, personally and professionally.
The Just Being team of gifted facilitators trained in mindfulness, deep listening and counseling conduct these sessions. The programs are under the mentorship of Sandy Andrade, our founder and psychologist.
Do plan a specific program for your organization, do write to firstname.lastname@example.org and share what you are looking for.