Students in the Middle School learn and practice mindfulness throughout the year. This area of our curriculum is led by faculty member Mary Margaret Ryan, a certified yoga teacher who has received training through Mindful Schools. Students in Grades 5-8 gather during advisory or health class for a session that includes a guided breathing exercise and a discussion and activity centered around one of the following themes:
- Mindful Breathing and the Mind-Body Connection
- Observing Emotions/ Reaction vs. Response
- Mindful Communication and Mindful Relationships with others
- Self-Compassion and Gratitude
- Intention and Goal Setting
- Acts of Kindness
- Challenges and how to use Mindfulness to face those challenges
Following the directed sessions, the students have the opportunity to practice mindfulness in their individual advisories through a planned lesson of reflection, a follow-up activity or a journaling assignment. Mindfulness practice is also available for all Middle School students during exam weeks, upon individual teacher request or through private appointments.
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.