For most of us, detention in school meant one whole hour of torture. We had to sit silently while the teacher-in-charge stared at us. None of us gained anything and it rarely brought about any change in behavior. Let alone reflecting upon our actions, we used to day-dream about escaping from the room to play in the ground. Schools did not bother changing the rules back then. Jack Hatert, the principal of Yellow Springs High, is of the same opinion.
Yellow Springs High and Mckinney Middle school have come up with a new plan for enriching the detention periods. The schools have decided to offer mindfulness classes by an expert after school instead of the usual detention. On Mondays, the students can attend half an hour of guided meditation to soothe their nerves. In the process, they become acutely aware of their surroundings, learn to process their emotions, and give themselves some time to relax.
The new Ohio statewide education initiative encourages schools to offer these sessions. These mindfulness sessions are beneficial for the students as they struggle with mental health issues. The main aim of the plan is to focus on the individual development of the students and raise well-balanced individuals. The future depends on the youth and it is important to offer such resources for their growth.
The program also aims at molding the attitude of the young-adults who will step out into the world of complex relationships. The schools want their children to have the necessary skills for dealing with setbacks and making informed choices. The children should also be able to set targets and achieve them while keeping in mind the needs of people around them. Empathy, kindness, and ambition are the values the schools want to inculcate.
Yellow Springs High also offers yoga classes on Wednesdays. It is led by Donna Haller a certified yoga instructor and a teacher at the school. She claims to enjoy the sessions thoroughly and believes it is helpful for everyone and not just the kids. Reportedly, yoga and meditation have helped people with ADHD and anxiety.
In a survey conducted in 2017, the National Institute of Health found that one out of two kids had practiced yoga in the past one year. The number significantly increased between 2002 and 2012. Currently, more than 940 schools across the US offer yoga and meditation classes.
A lot of schools have incorporated the Quiet Time program, originally started by David Lynch, the director of Fight Club. This session comprises of two 15 minutes breaks where the students take deep breaths, clear their mental clutter, and focus on themselves. According to the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness, following the Quiet Time program significantly decreases violent conflicts by 65% and reduces stress by 40%. It has also improved the participant’s confidence level, creative bend, and the ability to stay happy.
The schools have noted a good increase in the daily attendance of the students and their willingness to attend classes. Needless to say, meditation and yoga are the pointers to a wholesome lifestyle.
IMAGE FEATURED: Aleksandr Davydov