Classrooms can be chaotic places. Children get distracted easily, and they may struggle to pay attention to their lessons. Noise levels may rise as students prepare for activities, shuffle supplies, or leave the classroom for different activities. An online Master of Arts in Special Education program offers ways to structure your classroom and motivate your students to reach their highest academic potential. This includes helping them learn how to focus, how to remain calm and how to contribute to a positive culture in the classroom.
Mindfulness Helps Students Self-Regulate
We live in a society that increasingly thrives on media content and multitasking. We are used to feeling scattered and distracted, and in general, we do not spend much time in silence, contemplating only one thing or idea. As our world becomes more chaotic, teachers have an opportunity to help students learn to self-regulate and quiet their minds by teaching mindfulness.
Techniques to Cultivate Mindfulness
Mindfulness does not always need to look like yoga or guided meditation. While some teachers may feel comfortable teaching those practices, other instructors may be more interested in activities like music, art, poetry, conscious breathing or journaling. Encouraging silence while students draw or write is another way to teach mindfulness in the classroom, as is teaching mindful movement through dance.
Connecting With Other Students
Another way to teach mindfulness is to ask students to spend time listening to their peers and reflecting. Teachers can provide students with a series of guided questions to ask one another and require each student to remain quiet and focused while his or her peer speaks. When students practice making eye contact and reflecting on what the other person is saying, they learn focus, self-awareness and empathy.
Teachers who enroll in an online master's degree in special education program are choosing to expand their roles as teachers into the larger capacity of helping both general education and special needs students. Teaching mindfulness in the classroom is one way to support special needs students -- it helps them learn to concentrate, to self-regulate emotions and behaviors, and to quiet their minds in the midst of a chaotic world. These skills last a lifetime, and they pave the way for personal and professional success beyond the classroom.
Learn more about the UTPB online Master of Arts in Special Education program.
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