Meditation Redefines Detention in This Forward-Thinking School

Avatar Michelle Estevez | May 3, 2019

Disciplinary methods vary from caregiver to caregiver. However, the shared goal to correct an undesirable behavior remains at the core. At Robert W. Coleman elementary, students learn from their mistakes through a mindful and conscious-centered approach. Meditation redefines detention in this forward-thinking school, not just through action but intention. The results have been astounding leading children to improve their test-taking skills and social interaction forging a path to success—both within and beyond the classroom.

Holistic Life Foundation

Mindfulness sits at the core of Robert W. Coleman elementary’s partnership with nonprofit organization, Holistic Life Foundation (HLR). They are committed to nurturing the lives of children and adults in underserved communities. HLR offers healing methods through yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

The Holistic Life Foundation was founded in 2001 to ensure children feel seen and heard. HLR’s founders birthed the organization after seeing their hometown’s family structure diminish. The sense of connection and power over oneself is a gift they aim provide to their community.

When it comes to discipline, instructors at Robert W. Coleman implement these practices to foster a space for reflection, open dialogue, and growth.

While it may be hard to imagine a child sitting still for meditation—especially after misbehaving—the open dialogue creates an opportunity to explore thought processes. This creates a space for understanding and accountability while eliminating fear. After the child expresses their frustration, the meditation begins.

The Mindful Moment Room

The Mindful Moment room is an oasis of calm that is available at all times during the day. Students have the opportunity to self-refer to the Mindful Moment Room, or teachers may send distressed or disruptive students for individual assistance with emotional self-regulation.”

Setting plays a major role here. In the Mindful Moment Room, students discover a fertile environment conducive for quieting the mind, listening to their breath, and shifting their perspective. Purple sitting pillows and artwork adorn the area to comfort students. This nourishing environment supports each mindful practice to further cultivate a behavioral balance.

It’s important to clarify meditation isn’t merely replacing detention. To think of it in these terms can potentially taint and cause harm to an intuitive and sacred practice. Instead, meditation is made accessible in ways that redefine what punishment has been led to believe. Rather than sticking a child in a corner, they are encouraged to understand their actions through an integral approach.

The Mindful Moment Room is available for both relaxation and disciplinary attention. This flexbility reinforces the intention of alchemizing behavior from all aspects. When the goal is to help, the results speak the truth.

Making a Difference

As meditation redefines detention in this forward-thinking school, a new narrative forms where children feel properly equipped to make a difference in not just their own lives, but the lives of others. These leaps continue to create ripples in our global sea. For example, 370 schools in England are now implementing mindfulness and meditation to improve overall mental health.

A learning environment should be as diverse as the world around it. Whether it be mathematics and literature or mindfulness and meditation, education is an ever-changing tool that continues to evolve as perspectives grow and expand. Through synergy, we can further integrate the old with the new.