A 7th grader discovered that “you can be calm and happy for a moment.”
A 5th grader looked out the window and thought, “I’m bored,“ but then thought again, “Wait. No I’m not. I’m enjoying the view.” She decided to stay sitting, and her father joined her…
A 12th grader shared that after using the mindfulness techniques, “I felt like a huge weight was taken off me.”
Students’ insights, such as these, were the highlight of information shared by educators participating in an inspiring panel discussion on teaching mindfulness in the Mercer Island School District in Washington State.
Mindfulness Panel—Teaching Mindfulness in the Mercer Island School District, Washington State
The panel presentation took place at the Mercer Island Library on May 22, 2014.
- The discussion was facilitated by Janine Bloomfield, PhD, who teaches mindfulness at West Mercer Elementary. Janine is a scientist and parent of children in the school district. You can find out more about Janine and her program, Mind Explore for Kids, along with parent resources and links, at her website: www.mindexplorekids.org.
- Brody LaRock, Ed.D., assistant principal at John Hay Elementary, formerly of Mercer Island High School, presented a big picture with information from his doctoral research on how educational leaders and K-12 schools nationwide are integrating mindfulness education into their school settings.
Other panel members shared their experiences facilitating mindfulness groups in a variety of classrooms in the Mercer Island School District:
- Sivie Suckerman, MA, LMHC, CMHS: mental health counselor at Island Park Elementary. Sivie has a private practice, Playful Minds, where she utilizes mindfulness in a therapeutic setting: www.playful-minds.org.
- Lynne Brazg, M.Ed.: pilot programs at Denny Middle School, Crest and Cleveland High Schools. Lynne is a parent coach and works with women in transition, parents of kids of all ages as well as mothers and infants in a group called Listening Mothers, and partners with Community of Mindful Parents. She is retired from many years as a school counselor. For information about her mindfulness groups for parents, see her website: www.mindfulparentcoaching.com.
- Arlen Levy, MA: pilot programs at Denny Middle School, Crest and Cleveland High Schools. Since retiring from 30 years as a Learning Specialist, Arlen is tutoring and has been teaching mindfulness, most recently in Seattle and Mercer Island schools. You can reach her at: .
All panel members draw from their own mindfulness practice and mindfulness education training. They use a mix of curriculum from programs such as Mindful Schools, MindUp, InnerKids, and Still Quiet Place. For more about the presenters’ backgrounds, see Janine’s blog: Mercer Island Event.
Blog Series – Mercer Island Panel Discussion
- Mindfulness in the Mercer Island Schools – Panel. Introduction to a panel discussion held on May 22 in Mercer Island, WA. 6.11.14
- Teaching Mindfulness and Heartfulness – Mercer Island Schools. Teaching the core mindfulness practice and creating a mindfulness community at the elementary school level. 6.30.14
- Teens Crave Mindful Moments – Mercer Island Schools. Teaching mindfulness at the middle and high school levels. 7.14.14
- Mindfulness in Education Research Highlights. Resources for research on mindfulness education. 10.15.14