At Village Gate we are committed to preparing students not just for future academic or economic success, but for for living a meaningful life. We focus on social and emotional development and foster relationship building both among students in the classroom and among families in the broader community. Mindfulness is one skill we teach to promote the self-knowledge, communication, and compassion necessary to achieve these goals. While the practice has ancient roots in many religions, our approach is simply to teach students how to pay attention with intention, curiosity, and kindness to whatever is present in our thoughts, emotions, and senses. We guide students to develop their capacity to focus on the breath or sound and to patiently guide their minds back to the focus when their minds inevitably wander. We include lots of discussion with our practice as well. Kids are curious and eager to share their responses so these conversations often follow the interests or experiences of the moment. We may talk about our need to wiggle one day and evolutionary neuroscience the next. Our middle school teacher, Kathy Stenger,has practiced mindfulness for several years and has trained through the Mindful Schools program. She has included the practice in the middle school since its inception and has witnessed the benefits in her students and in her own life as a teacher. In the middle school students practice daily and participate in discussions and different exercises each Monday. Kathy also instructs the Newer and Upper Elementary every other Wednesday morning.
For more information on mindfulness, explore the links below. And feel free to contact Kathy or your child's teacher with any questions.