Creating a School Culture of Mindfulness 

Mindfulness offers educators and students an opportunity to cultivate the capacity to be present, to be less reactive in the moment, to stop, breath and listen, and to make choices in the face of challenges. When I cofounded the Children’s Community School four years ago,  I wanted to infuse our school with mindfulness. I wanted […]

What does it mean to be Child Friendly? Community, Conflict, and Mindful Action 

I had an interaction at a local (and very hip) shopping market. My then 2 year old picked up a silicone Popsicle container and put the edge of it in his mouth.  They are on ground level– bottom shelf. I was turned away from him, right beside him, looking at the bread. His older brother […]

Dear Stranger in a Public Place: Why do You Offer Commentary on What Children Do? 

Standing in line to buy groceries, a friendly woman approaches me, reaching her thin hand out to pat my 2 year old on the arm, “what a good little boy, so quiet and so cooperative.” I am unaware of a study that has mapped this, but I would venture to say that, aside from pregnant […]

A Mindfulness Practice to Help a Child Calm Down 

When a child becomes unhinged and reactive– angry, sad, incapable of listening, overly physical with a peer or sibling, he/she usually needs a tool to calm down. Physical gestures can support your child to calm down and cope with intense emotions. Remember, too, that children need emotional release. You want them to learn to release […]

Riverstone Meditation:A Mindfulness Practice for Children 

My oldest son sometimes has difficulty going to sleep. Over time, I found that he tends to get himself caught up in thoughts at bedtime. I created this meditation for him. We adapt it each time a bit– if he is afraid, or having a recurring thought, we might insert a specific reference to that […]

Teaching Children to Stop, Breath, and Listen 

Integrating a mantra or phrase, such as “stop, breath, listen” into your child’s life can support them to develop tools to navigate their own emotions in moments of conflict, confusion, or emotional overwhelm. As they develop an understanding of the three parts, you can use the phrase to redirect your younger child in challenging moments. […]

How do we create more equitable and sensitive classroom settings? 

I have turned education scholar Sonya Nieto’s principles of learning  into questions below. If institutions (and teachers) were to use these questions they could serve as part of a practice in holding themselves accountable to a more equitable, multi-cultural, spacious, and diverse learning environment. These questions might be:   Is this approach/setting allowing learning to […]

Creating a safe classroom: Engaging reflection and response 

  There are many ways in which yoga has a place in western culture and in which this informs what yoga is. Individual people with different life experiences and backgrounds have had different experiences that they bring with them to the learning environment. These inevitably interact with all of the other cultures represented. However, if […]

Teaching: Multicultural individuals, relationship, and radical presence! 

  Learning is an active experiential process, and it springs forth from experiences, cultural contexts, beliefs, interactions, and relationships. It is not a unilateral experience, even when the structure or context for learning may imply or suggest that it is. There is mutuality in relationship. Teachers are inevitably influenced by students and students by teachers. […]