.b Reflections - The Unvarnished Truth!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my seniors (36 students) to do their end-of-the-term blog on Pico Iyer's TED talk on "Stillness." Their prompt was simple: watch the brief talk, then respond to, "How Can You Incorporate Stillness Into Your Life? Think about where you are right now (seniors!) , and where you want to be, eventually. How can stillness assist you?

Their blog is a student-facilitated discussion...with no prompting or input from me. Their discussion took an interesting turn, totally focused on their .b experience this year. Here are a few snippets.

"One thing that .b has taught me is that there is no right or wrong answer, if you breathe and stay in the moment being yourself success will reach you and bad things will pass. I think that’s been a great thought approach for college acceptances."

"When I find myself stressing or panicking over something, I do the 7/11 breathing method and completely calm myself. Mindfulness has given me the chance to learn how to control anxiety and stress and not let stress control me."

".b really helps relax me and focus on what I’m doing instead of worrying about what I didn’t do or what I need to do."

"I am normally thinking about ten other things when I walk into class that when we start the .b lesson I am more focused on other things that I find it hard to focus on the breathing. .b really helps me clear my mind and after doing the lesson I feel happier and more focused on tasks at hand."

"Going through the .b course in class helped me out a lot. The most useful thing I took away from it was the 7/11 breathing strategy. It has allowed me to control the way I handle my stress. .b has really helped me release all my stress, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have these breathing exercises."

"Before the game I was extremely nervous and I remember I took a second and did the 7/11 breathing and it calmed me down so much."

"The breathing we do at the beginning of class really brings into focus all the aspects of my life, whether I’m dwelling on something that happened in a previous class, or getting anxious over something that is going to happen later in the day, it’s nice to acknowledge all these pressures as just thoughts, not really negative, nor positive, just what I am thinking."

"I become calm after breathing and then I place myself into 2nd circle and I start thinking about the present and how i have to cherish every moment of it because it will not last forever instead of over thinking of the future."

"Settling down and being still for a few moments has impacted the way I deal with stress dramatically. It is always good to stop what you’re doing for a moment and just breath. I can complete things one at a time without overwhelming myself and therefore stressing out and not getting anything done at all."

"Until this class no teacher has ever really focused on the significance of relaxation and meditation; letting what will happen, happen. This new mind set came as a shock to me when we did our first .b lesson. But now I find myself regularly taking time to meditate and find peace within my mind."

Wow. Some days I wonder where they are in relation to our daily breathing...and almost weekly .b lessons. I guess this answers my question!

How to Use Coaching to Engage Your Students

As an educator for fifteen years, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe the way teachers and students interact. In my experience, there are two basic techniques that educators use to communicate with their students. One of these techniques is widely accepted but extremely ineffective, and the other is less traditional but excellent at engaging students and promoting learning.

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