This book is definitely intended for education majors and all you future teachers should be on the lookout for this one. The book overall was extremely informational.
The first part discusses the author’s experience with taking an eight week mindfulness class. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to present experiences which can happen through meditation. Mindfulness really is something that needs to be addressed more frequently within schools. As teachers, we need to acknowledge the fact that our students are little people. They are learning how to manage themselves, their emotions and their personalities while also whatever subjects we teach them. Mindfulness gives them a well-needed, focusing break. Sometimes, they really just need a second to breathe before they get back to work. As adults, we need a break so we don’t get overwhelmed. How can we expect kids to go without one?
Armstrong discusses how mindfulness can be used in the classroom and aligns with educational models such as Social and Emotional Learning. SEL involves things other than the textbook knowledge we are consistently teaching. Students are still learning how to interact with themselves and the world around them which is what makes SEL important. This is a way to incorporate crucial aspects of their social and emotional well-being into our daily teaching styles. Often times, teachers are around students more than their parents are. Therefore, we as teachers need to notice our students! They are not perpetual motion machines or simply knowledge sponges. They do not need to only soak up the literature and math we throw at them. They need to learn how to be the best version of themselves possible.
The book includes information from psychological studies as well as providing mindfulness exercises. One of the best exercises I found within the book was a one minute exercise to do before taking a test. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing.
Overall, my experience with the book and with the concept of mindfulness itself has been a good one. If you consider focus and creating a less anxious environment for you and your future students, I would highly recommend that you read this book.