Stillness and classrooms aren’t always two words that go together, they are often quite a noisy busy place. Full of questions and directions and constant decision making. A place where telling someone to “sit still and be quiet” is more of an admonishment than an invitation to exploring the self. Niamh Bruce aims to correct that and writes about bringing mindfulness to the classroom ahead of her upcoming course.
Art of Stillness in the Classroom was designed to explore what stillness is and how it could exist in the classroom amid the busyness and timetabling.
Since we started working with schools and teachers in 2005, I have been both amazed at the care and energy teachers bring with them every day through the doors of the school and also reaffirmed as to the importance of a nourishing stillness for our teachers.
We do this through mindfulness and meditation. Our desire to bring it to young people we found the first port of call was to bring it to the teachers themselves first as this leads to an experience for all.
The Art of Stillness in the Classroom was first delivered in 2006 at the Sanctuary. The reason we developed it was through our work in schools we saw the huge importance of the teacher in this gateway for young people to practice. Also the huge need for teachers to restore and nourish through stillness.
The teacher plays such a pivotal role in our society and must be cared for and nourished. Since opening its doors in 1998 the focus of the Sanctuary was to care for the carers. That remains at the heart of all that the Sanctuary does. It is the belief that by caring for the carers we are nourishing all those that they reach. So the Art of Stillness is of huge importance.
Since 2006 and that first course the Sanctuary offers a range of training and practice for teachers in bringing mindfulness to the classroom. This offering is about exploring what stillness in the classroom could be. How we can change the words ‘sit still and be quiet’ to an enriching and nourishing space for both teachers and students.
Unlike our other trainings you do not have to have any experience of mindfulness or meditation previously but just intrigued by the word. It allows a structure to take that first step. Mindfulness and meditation is now recognised as a key element to our education and increased well-being. We believe for our young people to be enriched it needs to start with the teacher.
Although catering for the absolute beginner it is also a lovely course for those who have been working in the classroom with meditation for many years as a way of replenishing and reflecting and ensuring that the teacher is at the heart of it.