06/27/2021 / Education

Mindful Teaching Moments: Hello Weekend! Reflective Writing, Reading, and a New Find to Check Out!

Hello weekend! 

What a week it has been as the last days of the school year wound down. It was bittersweet as the time had come to say goodbye and send my class family on to their next chapter. Then, my former students, now graduating seniors, came back for one last walk at their former elementary school. This was certainly a week full of reflection. Which brings me to sharing this week’s mindful moments with you. 

Be  sure to scroll down to find some great reading choices and an opportunity to connect math and literature! 

What I learned as a writer this week: 

It’s not too often that you’ll read about watching Netflix and meditating, but I have a cool find for you. As I took a break from some early morning writing, I decided to check out what’s new on Netflix. Scrolling through the latest binge worthy suggestions, I decided to look at other offerings and came across something called “The Headspace Guide to Meditation”. I hovered over the title and watched the preview that was about reflective meditation. Now as a writer, I have a notebook that is used solely for the purpose of my reflective thinking which then spills onto the page and becomes my reflective writing.  I clicked into the series and began to watch with the intention of simply letting my mind rest. 

As the host described the process of reflective meditation and allowing the feeling of appreciation to create space in the mind, I began to allow myself to relax and focus on my breathing as instructed. Then, a suggestion was given to choose something to focus on, maybe a question to contemplate but not solve. You were to ask yourself the question in the second person like a “What do you think?” rather than what I think. This change in questioning is supposed to open up the mind and “create a journey rather than a destination” touching emotion rather than just the thought. The idea is that when we give attention and intention we focus on gratitude, positivity, and it helps to contribute to an overall feeling of happiness. 

Well, as any writer will most likely agree, my writer’s mind is never truly off. I found myself creating a focus around, while  using the second person approach,  “How do you reflect on what is good in your life?”. Within no time my mind was opening to the connections between meditating to open your mind and writing from an authentic reflective space. This guided meditation led me to think that this is a place that writing can take me if I allow myself the same preparation toward truly opening my mind. There are so many similarities in the process such as setting aside the time, finding a quiet space, and  having a focus or intention. It’s natural for our minds to wander as writers, just as it is in meditation. 

I have to admit the idea of asking myself questions as if someone else was asking was a bit different, but it worked. It truly helped thoughts and ideas come to the surface, allowing feelings to emerge. Just like meditation, writing takes practice and sometimes just picking  up a pen and putting it to paper is a relaxing way to relieve the mind and also create some amazing writing ideas. 

Finally, the episode asked that we consider three things that we are grateful for each night. What a perfect way to use a reflective journal. If you are looking for a new journal to use, I would suggest the Paperage Lined Journal Notebook or a Ruled Journal Notebook. For added creativity, I love the Flair felt tip markers. No matter what you choose to use to write in, reflective writing is a great way to relieve your mind and create some wonderful writing pieces. 

What I am reading:  Check out my “Top Picks” for these titles: 

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - I just have to add that this is an amazing story that I read many years ago. I loved revisiting this book! Perfect read for a warm summer’s night! 

Here is a book that is up to be read from my TBR stack. Spending time today to give this a read! 

Hemmingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Check this out:  Sue O’Connell Heinemann Publishing  Facebook Group

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Kathleen Palmieri

Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Learning Facilitator, and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York. She reviews professional texts and is an educator researcher and writer. As a writer with a passion for pedagogy, Kathleen's focus is on education practices, and strategies, as well as her own experiences as an educator. Educator well being is a priority, thus the name "Mindful Teaching Moments". Mindfulness along with knowledge is important. She has presented at math conferences, writing workshops, actively collaborates in literacy projects, and networks globally.