Update on my #LearningProject
I am going to propose this Learning Project Plan in a similar fashion to how some of my students propose their Genius Hour projects, with a rationale, a guiding question, an initial resource list, and a learning target.
My project is on mindfulness and meditation.
Rationale: My husband calls is “busy brain”. He can immediately tell by my body language how present I am. I can feel myself constantly trying to untangle problems, plan for upcoming events, and worry about things that may or may not happen. I have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night as I think my random thoughts. I have difficulty sustaining attention on one thing for too long, as I become increasingly aware of my enormous “to do” list.
My husband, who has known me for almost 18 years, tells me that this is a learned behavior and it is fairly new to me. He actually thinks that it might have developed on the job. Working with 30 Middle School students means that my attention is always needed. No matter how well my students learn to collaborate or network with each other, there is still a need for me to be available, “on”. As I meet with one student, there are still 3 others with their hands up, an amazing learning event happening between a small group in the corner that needs to be recorded in some way, an awareness of the clock, and CONSTANT interruptions (bell, announcements, fire drill, broken technology). I enjoy my days with my students, and I often get back more than I give, but I don’t think that I let go of being “on” when my students go home for the day. My thoughts race. My heart races. My mind wanders from one unfinished idea to the next.
My students are participating the in the #onelittleword challenge as a New Year’s Resolution this year. My #onelittleword for this year is “Balance”. I think that giving myself time to meditate, reflect, and learn to be mindful would help me to find balance in many areas of my life.
I teach mindfulness and Self-Regulation in the classroom. I am actually quite proud of how my students are able to think about their needs in relation to attending a fairly structured school. Students spend time thinking about how their body feels in various situations during the day and learn to make any needed adjustments to feel better if needed. I feel like I can share ideas and help support others in their path to mindfulness, but I don’t actually embrace any of the ideas that would support me in my own needs. I am wondering if this is a case of those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach???
Guiding Question: What elements of mindfulness and meditation will help me to develop more peace of mind, support a more balanced and healthy lifestyle, and teach me to live in the moment?
Initial List of Resources:
- I downloaded the app “Headspace” and I am loving it, but I’m sad to learn only 10 free sessions, then it looks pretty pricey. I learned about this app over Christmas break from a Real Simple magazine given to me by my parents.
- Tanya recommended, and I downloaded Stop, Breathe and Think
- Wildmind Buddhist Meditation resource webpage: http://www.wildmind.org/resources
- UCLA Health Guided Meditations page: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
- I knew that good old Huffington Post would have some ideas: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/the-internet-might-hold-t_n_4461797.html
- Found a free online course: http://www.onlinemeditation.org/ not sure about it, yet.
- I have subscribed to a Mindfulness of Breath: Meditation for Beginners podcast
- I will borrow a copy of AM/PM Daily Meditation from my local public library
This should get me started. I haven’t even skimmed Youtube yet!
My Learning Target: This is a personal learning experience that will be subjectively evaluated through my own reflections. I am hoping to note an improvement in my mood, energy levels, ability to respond to stress, sleep patterns and a calmer mind.
This is a lot to ask in 12 weeks! I believe that this will take longer than 50-100 hours to be transformative. I will take this initial time to find resources, to find what works for me, and to practice regularly. I am hoping that I can develop habits and routines that will serve me long after this course has ended.
I will share out my learning through regular blog posts where I evaluate my response to the tools I am using, new tools I have found, an overall summary of daily check ins (I am wondering if I need to create a simple rubric for self-evaluation?), sharing out new knowledge, and a reflection on areas of improvement or need. The Wii Fit game has a great meditation and yoga section that I can also use to test my stillness and breathing. I have only mastered keeping the candle lit once time!
Other ideas to keep focused and to get support might be to reach out through Twitter and this blog for help and ideas.