Classroom Violence On the Rise

There has been an alarming increase in classroom violence in Canada. As this 2018 Global News video points out, up to 70% of Ontario teachers have witnessed violence in school. Teaching mindfulness in the classroom can help cultivate a more peaceful classroom setting.

Increased aggression in the classroom is blamed in part on classroom size. Female teachers get more of the verbal abuse. Male teachers are more likely to be targets of physical violence. According to a study, the violence in the classroom is having a negative impact on teacher mental health.

Mental Health & Mindfulness

Mindfulness compliments the more rational education methods emphasized in traditional education. As psychology professor Tobin Hart states, it is “designed to quiet and shift the habitual chatter of the mind to cultivate a capacity for deepened awareness, concentration, and insight.”

Our mind tends to ruminate about the past or the future, but how many of us live in the present moment? Mindfulness is the art of actively and openly paying attention to NOW. Presence helps us to cultivate emotional awareness, without judgment. According to Jon Kabbat-Zinn, the founder of MBSM (Mindfulness based stress management), this opens our heart. It induces compassion, for self and others. Compassion leads to a kinder, more evolved way of dealing with stress.

So, Can Mindfulness Prevent Classroom Violence?

According to this Psychology Today article, mindfulness is effective not only in managing, but in healing anger. Anger can teach us about our self – what’s important to us, what we are sensitive to, where our boundaries lie. Paying closer attention helps us become aware of  our impulses, including to anger. We can then switch to a more curious mindset, investigating what our anger is trying to say.

This year in England, during Mental Health week, a mental health trial was announced. The trial is a two year project. It will introduce mindfulness into 370 schools. The intention is to teach children about the importance of looking after their mental well being. In primary and secondary schools, pupils will learn a variety of mindfulness exercises. They will also learn how to create supportive networks for their peers.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Full Circle Healing Ottawa if you have any questions about my holistic health care services including mindfulness.