In the spring of 2015, staff and students of Lafayette Elementary School, the original Peace of Mind school, were filmed and interviewed for a documentary about mindfulness by director Paul McGowan. The resulting film, just released, is titled A Joyful Mind. We were supposed to be a very small piece of the film, but the filmmakers truly got it, and the section on Peace of Mind takes up almost ten minutes of the whole 60 minute documentary! It’s wonderful to hear students speak so eloquently about how mindfulness practice helps them academically, to deal with strong emotions and to be better friends, and helps them live happier, healthier lives. Truly, this is why we do this work. Check out the trailer here!
In my Peace of Mind classes we often break the ice and start things off with a game I call “tell me something good”. I ask my students to think of something good. We try to focus on the little good things in life, like a clean, fresh-smelling towel, or your favorite food in your lunchbox, or a friend who helped you up when you fell down. We sing the first line from the classic Chaka Khan song “Tell Me Something Good” each time someone shares. It’s a lot of fun, gets all of the kids participating – even the quiet ones – and lets me learn a little more about their home lives and interests.
Peace of Mind Class is in full swing at Lafayette ES in Washington DC. In all our Peace of Mind classes we are starting with an emphasis on mindfulness fundamentals. Our younger students in grades 1- 2 are learning about mindfulness by doing things mindfully, by paying close attention to what we are doing. We are learning to breathe mindfully, move mindfully, listen mindfully, and see mindfully.