Our school is fortunate to have current and past teachers on staff who practice mindfulness and who have brought this philosophy into their classrooms. This shines through in daily routines, practices and approaches, including the use of the mindfulness bell, mindful eating, the space place, and thankfuls. These practices work to organically grow the skills of attention, balance, compassion and resilience.
Interlacing mindful practices and experiences in the classroom setting has many benefits, including but not limited to the continual development of:
- Conflict resolution skills
- Empathy and compassion
Mindful-based practices in the classroom help teachers build positive relationships with each child, forming the foundation for supporting the child’s emerging social/emotional development. Children are empowered, building skills helping them to act thoughtfully rather than reactively. An environment is created that cultivates flexibility and resiliency in students. Mindfulness also helps children approach new experiences with curiosity and an open mind. Attention is not just developed, but rather a strong and stable attention.
Working to weave the best of mindful practices in education with early childhood standards, the staff at MCS works to make sure experiences presented to children are grounded in the MT Early Learning Guidelines. These include specific objectives within the areas of Social Emotional, Social Studies, and Language and Literacy.
Missoula Community School is a mindful school. Mindful-based practices are a part of the school’s routines and traditions, including one mindful lesson per week. This lesson works to intentionally address the skills that develop the above listed benefits. Parents are provided opportunities to learn how to foster these skills at home through a parent workshop/discussion group and regular communication as to what we are learning in the classroom.