Are you thinking of implementing mindfulness, breathing, yoga or other wellness-focused social-emotional learning in your classroom? These practices can be powerful ways to develop self-awareness and wellness tools for life, but beware: these practices can also be unhelpful or even harmful, too. As with any new practice, we educators should think critically about mindfulness, breathing, yoga, or wellness practices before implementing them. Here are some of my favorite resources to help with this critical analysis:
First, read Paul Gorski’s piece on Equity Detours and check that you’re not using social-emotional learning as a racial equity detour.
Next, Christina Torres on how mindfulness won’t save us, but fixing the system will. We need to balance supporting kids to cope with addressing the conditions that require them to cope in the first place.
When offering students wellness strategies, we need to make sure we’re not just forcing students to use strategies that work for us. Here’s a piece from me on self-determination and SEL.
Turning to mindfulness specifically, it’s important to understand that mindfulness activities can actually be triggering for trauma-affected students. Read more from Katrina Schwartz here.
Speaking of which, this is a fascinating piece on why “take a deep breath” isn’t always good advice.
We should also consider the question “who gets to be well?,” posed by Dr. Angela Rose Black. She created Mindfulness for the People to center the voices and experiences of People of Color in the mindfulness movement and this interview with her is a great read.
If you have additional resources or insights to share, please leave a comment!
This post is a write-up of a Twitter thread – you can find the original here.