Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Domain of Inner Peace

The Domain of Inner Peace
 by an anonymous BAT

"I am an elementary general music teacher and I have one first grade class that bickers constantly at the end of the day. Today was no different. They were in that "can't get ourselves to stop annoying each other" mode full tilt.
I ditched the "lesson plans" and started doing some mirroring work with the kids, first with me leading and them following my movements. I picked a new leader after about a minute and went to turn on music ("Near Light" by Olafur Arnalds).
When the track was over we stopped and were able to have a functional conversation as a class about what we had experienced, which frankly, we have rarely been able to do all year.
"I felt joyful!"
"I felt sad, because it made me remember my grandfather when I was little."
"The music was so beautiful it almost made me cry!"
"I felt peaceful...."
I then asked the kids to get a partner and practice the mirroring exercise again...and mirror so well that I wouldn't be able to tell who the leader and follower was.
What followed was (almost) three minutes (realistically probably like two and a half minutes) of amazing, sensitive, deliberate partner work, from my "good" kids to my "can't control my impulses" kids to my "I pick a fight with everyone within a ten mile radius of me" kids. I took a four of my most "challenging" friends together in one group and their focus and sensitivity to each other's movement was so beautiful to watch for those minutes.
Kids, people, humans, living things--
We all have this beauty inside of us...and we are all capable of sharing it with ourselves and others.....
How I wish these kids and their parents and their educators could come to school thinking not about test scores, not how many sight words they can identify, not about reading grade levels or being too "low" in math--
And instead think of how we will be at peace with our mind, in control of our bodies, and in constant connection with the humans around us...... "

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