This might be a complete coincidence, but since becoming a teacher, I have also become an avid meditator (as well as a wine drinker and coffee addict – neither of which I indulged in before.)
Every morning, I sit in my Zen Den to quieten my never-ending mind chatter.
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Some days are more successful than others.
"Ommmmmm... breathe... Ooommm... Are my kids ready for their assessment today? Shut-up brain, I'm being zen... Back on the breath... Ommmmmmmm – Sh*t! Did I forget my carpark duty after school yesterday?"
At the risk of sounding completely Eat, Pray, Love – meditation has changed my life, and I have since become obsessed not only with the idea of making it cool amongst teenagers, but with observing my own thoughts with delightful curiosity.
Unfortunately, this curiosity has resulted in some alarming realisations reflecting the dysfunctional and paradoxical state of the current 'education' environment, which is in desperate need of an overhaul.
Here’s just a few of the lovely thoughts that I observe on a regular week:
"For feck’s sake, why won’t these kids just shut up so I can get some work done?"
"I spent all night writing reports; I didn’t actually consider WTF I’m teaching today."
"Should I pretend I didn’t see/hear that so I don’t create more work following it up?"
"Sh*t. They haven't grasped this at all. Oh, well... assessments and curriculum stop for no one!"
Please trust me when I tell you that none of the above thoughts come without a heavy sense of shame and sadness.
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