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How to Practice Mindfulness as the School Year Comes to a Close

Written by Jordan Turner, Mindful Education in Schools Director, Challenge to Change, Inc.

Shout-out to my amazing Mindful Education in Schools Instructors!!

"Let the positive impact of the past year resonate within and radiate to your loved ones during this well-deserved break." ~ Jordan Turner

As the school year draws to a close, teachers and students alike experience a range of emotional moments.  The end-of-year juncture for our Mindful Education in the School (MES) Instructors brings forth a mix of sentiments: the satisfaction of witnessing student growth, the tearful farewell to cherished relationships, and the anticipation of a well-deserved break.

Navigating these emotions is further complicated for our MES Instructors, who are acutely aware of the transient nature of teaching.  At Challenge to Change, we understand that schedules shift, students transition to new schools, and schools and/or districts may chart different courses. It's moments like these that underscore the significance of treasuring the connections and footprint we leave behind, even in momentary encounters.

Reflecting on my own teaching experience at a school where I fostered deep connections with students and colleagues, bidding farewell during my final year was a bitter-sweet challenge. Though I knew I was moving forward to pursue my noble goals in new avenues, the goodbyes remained emotionally charged.

Highlights from our 2023-2024 school year!

One touching anecdote shared by Bobbi Kelley, one of our amazing Mindful Education in Schools Instructors, highlights the profound and lasting impact educators can have on their students. During a poignant moment with a sixth-grade student, the instructor's influence as a mentor was reaffirmed when the student expressed a desire to follow in her footsteps and teach yoga to children.

It is moments like these that you realize the enduring impact educators can have on their students.

Another one of my favorite stories this year was from a social worker who shared heartfelt stories of her clients demonstrating tools and techniques we teach in our Mindful Education in Schools Program, such as mudras, during their counseling sessions. Witnessing our work extends beyond the schools serves as a poignant reminder that we are truly impacting our youth, enhancing their well-being, and enriching their everyday lives.

A student from Mark Twain Elementary School practicing mudras

As a leader guiding my team through this reflective period, my priority is to provide unwavering support and recognition for their invaluable contributions to students' lives. While the tenure with their students may be transient, the impact endures. I urge them to take pride in their achievements and the lasting relationships forged, knowing they've left an indelible mark on the future.

As we embark on the summer break and prepare for the upcoming school year, I encourage educators to reflect on the meaningful moments shared with students. Let the positive impact of the past year resonate within themselves and radiate to their loved ones during this well-deserved break. It is a time to recharge and return with renewed enthusiasm, ready to inspire and nurture the next generation of learners.

I was recently interviewed on our new podcast, The Best Version of Yourself, by Molly. We had a great conversation about how mindful education is paving the way for happy, healthy kids and navigating my own journey as a mom, leader, and wife. We discussed the challenges and triumphs, and how integrating mindfulness into education not only benefits students but also enhances our own lives as educators and caregivers. This exchange reaffirmed my belief in the power of mindfulness to transform our educational landscape and personal experiences.

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