– All students in the Middle School learn about mindfulness from a faculty member, who leads a short lesson each month in English or reading classes (for 5th and 6th Grades) or in health classes (for 7th and 8th Grades). The goal of these sessions is to help students increase focus and attention as they become present in the moment. During the semester testing period for 7th and 8th Grades, mindfulness sessions are offered to help students reduce stress before major tests and exams. Through the 6th Grade Advisory program, each Advisor teaches students about mindfulness and demonstrates short mindfulness practices. Collegiate’s Middle School counselor also uses mindfulness practices to help students who might be experiencing stress and anxiety.
Freshmen Stress Management Class
– The goal of stress management is for students to understand the physiology of their stress-response system, how their own thoughts can trigger these stressful responses and how to counteract these stress-related symptoms by increasing awareness of their thoughts and mindfully implementing relaxation techniques.
These techniques are taught to help maximize the students' ability to perform at peak levels during potentially stress-inducing situations such as taking a test, giving a speech, playing a sport, performing in front of an audience or any other day-to-day challenges students may encounter.
Having an understanding of the stress response and the ability to use the relaxation response provides students with the tools to maintain a healthy body and mind now and throughout their lives.
Freshmen classes are offered for two weeks, twice a semester in October, December, March and May.Senior Capstone: Mindful Leadership
– Seniors who choose this course as their semester-long Capstone program explore the question: How can a mindful and emotionally intelligent leader extend these practices into personal pursuits and have a positive impact of the world?
Mindful Leadership begins with a focus on the attitudes of mindfulness according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, which include: nonjudgment, beginner’s mind, patience, trust, acceptance, nonstriving, letting go, gratitude and generosity. Students establish their own mindfulness practice based on these attitudes and then spend the semester exploring the research and discussing the ways in which mindfulness can be turned outward into a form of authentic leadership. A key to this style of leadership also includes an understanding of Daniel Goleman’s components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
The primary case study for this Capstone is Patagonia, and it will include video conferencing with the Director of Philosophy at Patagonia. During Patagonia’s rise to success, the company did not deviate from the core values originally set by its founder, proving that a company can be values-based rather than outcome-based and still reach a profit margin that makes the company the best in its industry. This case study will allow students to explore various models of values-based social entrepreneurship. They will be taken through a process of creating their own set of core values, which will be the basis for each student’s ability to embark upon ethical decision-making as he or she determines individual life aspirations, and as the students find themselves in the position to lead others.
Through collaborative small group work, the Capstone will culminate in the students discovering their own examples of mindful leadership in the corporate and nonprofit sector through local partnerships, and revealing how passion, purpose and values can set each one of us on the path to having a positive impact on the world around us.
If you would like more information about mindfulness in the Middle School, or if you would like to sit in on one of the freshmen classes or the Mindful Leadership class, please contact Alex Peavey at firstname.lastname@example.org