October 3rd, 2016
This School Replaced Punishment With Meditation
A school in Baltimore, US recently grabbed everyone’s eyeballs. The school replaced detention of its students with meditation, only to come up with some overwhelming results. Schools are meant to be the place where kids will commit nuisances, and it is the duty of the teacher to rectify that. But here, at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, students are neither taken to the principal’s room nor are they detained for a prolonged period. The teachers have come up with an innovative idea of replacing punishment with meditation as a way to calm down the kids and their disruptive behavioural tendencies.
The Baltimore school has a room called Mindful Moment Room. The room is not unlike other meditation room. Instead, it is beautifully decorated with lamps and shades and with purple pillows. Kids who are unruly and misbehave a lot are encouraged to come to the room and do exercises like deep breathing by closing their eyes. This helps them to calm down and focus on themselves. After that, they are asked what happened, and a solution is searched.
Meditation is scientifically proven to calm down our mind and bodies. If one meditates on a day to day basis, it can keep a check on one’s unruly behaviour and control emotion. Moreover, it can boost up one’s memory too, by increasing concentration and focus.
The school is now collaborating with a local NGO named Holistic Life Foundation to encourage more and more students to participate in an after-school program called “Holistic Me” to teach them Yoga and Meditation. Kirk Philips, the coordinator of Holistic Me at the Robert W. Coleman School, said, “It’s amazing… You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.” The program also teaches the kids and their mentors about the benefit of preserving the environment.
The kids are encouraged to clean up the local parks, plant trees and visit farms. They also engage the kids in various collaborative activities to enhance leadership skills.
The school has already seen the benefit of this program as there were zero suspensions last year. Now, a number of schools are following suit by replacing the negative reinforcement or punishment with the positive reinforcement or meditation.
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