Walking into a Detroit Prep classroom after lunch you’ll see and hear students taking full advantage of a time of day called mindfulness. Detroit Prep students create, explore, and research daily to learn ways they can make an impact on the world around them each day. This imagination, dedication and hard work is no joke! That’s why it is important to teach the balance of hard work with self care. Teachers at Detroit Prep spend purposeful time with students teaching and modeling different ways we can all be mindful in a busy world.
You may wonder why we would carve out a time for this during the day when there is so much to learn and do during the school day! Well, Detroit Prep staff would say that teaching students strategy for mindfulness is preparing them for success. Take a moment to think about your day. Think about all of the things [your mental checklist] that you have to do. Children at school have just as much on their minds; between learning to read, to write, to add, to subtract, to multiply, to tell time, and cooperate kindly with peers. Children are juggling all of these new concepts without a plan of what to do when they feel overwhelmed, stressed, scared, nervous, or even excited. We believe it is our job as adults to model and teach mindfulness because let’s face it, we ALL need it!
Mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. It helps us create a space for joy and gratitude. Students are asked to take a mindfulness break after lunch each day and they are encouraged to take mindfulness throughout the day as they begin to experience emotions they aren’t sure what to do with. Every Monday morning we begin with community crew where all students at Detroit Prep sit together to greet each other, share ideas and stories, play, and then we learn a new yoga breath. Yoga is one of the many strategies teachers are using to teach mindfulness.
We believe in enjoying the moments we have with students each day. In order to truly enjoy the moments, we have to take time to be mindful of the joy. We have to stop ourselves from running on autopilot, take a deep breath, and observe the magic and joy around us.