The Mindful Classroom: Being in the Moment
Each day, NDES begins and ends the day in prayerful reflection. As a Catholic school, prayer and reflection are not foreign concepts, but a cornerstone of our Catholic faith. So, when the Mindful Classroom was introduced, its philosophy naturally complemented NDES’ mission, vision and core values.
The Mindful Classroom, developed by Mr. James Butler,
is a program that uses 5 minute daily practices that empower teachers
to help students focus on the present moment. Through yoga poses and
breathing exercises, specifically designed for classrooms, students
become aware of their bodies and surroundings; and develop a life-long
capacity for self-awareness and stress management.
grade employs mindfulness in many different ways. In preschool, yoga
is integrated into the core curriculum with students taking part in yoga
classes each week. At the elementary, Mrs. Rachel Gardner’s 1st-grade class and Miss Julie Amantea’s 2nd-grade
class, begin their daily math and reading lessons with yoga poses and
breathing exercises. Before students settle into their desks, you will
find them on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, deeply breathing and in the moment!
“I find the children are more focused on their lessons after a mindful moment”, shares Miss Julie Amantea.
“The exercises are fun and the children really look forward to these mindful moments each day”, states Mrs. Rachel Gardner.
At the jr. high level, mindfulness is practiced through meditation and reflection. Sr. Barbara Knuff, SND focuses part of her Religion class each day on getting closer to the Lord, a practice which has been an integral part of the curriculum for many years. The class typically begins with Sr. Barbara and students sharing and revealing their personal experiences. Students will then spend part of the class in quiet meditation, “talking with God” and journaling their thoughts. During this month of Thanksgiving, each entry is about an every day, "take for granted" part of life.
“My hope is our children learn the ease in conversing with the Lord and a sense of His closeness and care.” shares Sr. Barbara Knuff, SND.
In today’s rapidly changing world, children face unique social and emotional challenges. NDES understands and is responding by empowering our children with self-awareness tools they can use to develop resilience, confidence and faith on life's journey.