Being interested in heathy eating and the like I came across the word “mindfulness” related to the way we eat. It is believed that when you eat it is better not to watch tv or read a book or do anything else not related to the process of chewing and swallowing food. They say you should concentrate on each piece you consume. Doing so you seem to get satiated more quickly and feel better since you don’t over consume food. It is even claimed that it affects your digestion positively.
As you may well have guessed, I’m leading to mindfulness in teaching. Why?
There was a situation at my lesson when one student got irritated because of another one who “helped” her suggesting the right answers not allowing any time to think it over. When it happened and the student left the room I was shocked and upset. Analyzing this situation I saw that I have been overlooking such moments for a long time. The student who interrupted his mates several times during a lesson hasn’t always been like that. He used to wait for others to think their utterances over and didn’t intrude on somebody’s speaking. I have been letting it be for all this time without considering it to be important thus, he gradually began to do what he does. Why have I been neglecting it? Because I was busy thinking about something else. You know it very well, a teacher is all the time multitasking. We have to keep in mind a hell lot of things: timing, next activity, questions to ask, whose turn is now, where this damn handout with the next task is, what track it is, I should write this mistake down for later correction, this is a good idea, this student is not speaking enough and so on and so forth.
So, here am I scrutinising the problem. I’ve even understood that it is a kind of trait of my character – if I’m busy thinking about something I’m not flexible enough to notice and react properly. I might be not careful enough or even careless about what’s going on being concentrated solely on how well students do the current task. I guess it may stem from the fact that I hate being slow, I feel awkward if students have to wait for me and I am an ardent supporter of the idea of keeping a good tempo for creating proper learning atmosphere. Here I come to the conclusion that to avoid the lack of mindfulness I may need to sacrifice a bit the tempo of a lesson to have enough time to keep vigilant watch not only on shallow processes of a lesson but on some deeper ones considering possible consequences.
That’s where I’ve stopped pondering. I wonder if I’m alone with this lack of mindfulness. If you have overcame it – tell me how. Or just tell me what you think about my ideas above.