Today I am grateful for the mindfulness bell we use in our classroom. Before we begin each subject, the peer leader of the week comes up to my desk and rings the mindfulness bell.
I like how each peer leader waits (now) until the whole class settles down and notices what is about to happen. Sometimes they don't. I try to just focus my attention on that student (or students) who are still moving around, or have their attention elsewhere, until they look at me and realize they need to stop what they are doing and get quiet.
For just a few moments the class sits. Often I use that moment to refocus myself. I breathe. I remember that I am here to be of service. I remember to be present. Other times, the moments go by and before I know it, the reverberation of the bell has faded away and I realize I wasn't even conscious of what I was thinking, except that I certainly wasn't present. And, that's the moment too: a reminder that I can become present right now.
I don't know that every student in my classroom appreciates the bell, but I know that some definitely do, and that is enough. If not for them, I'm glad it's there for me...to remember to be there for them.
The Tolerance Muscle
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