Good afternoon everyone!
A couple of you asked what I am using for my curriculum and I thought I’d share what I have been doing. i would love to hear what you are doing as well if you don’t mind sharing. :)
Since last year was my first year of teaching the course, I wanted to find a one-semester curriculum specifically for teens. One that caught my eye was MBSR-T with Gina Biegel (stressedteens.com). She has lots of experience with teens and took the MBSR curriculum and adapted it to teenagers. I took her online training and was pleased with the 8 week program that she had developed. The concern I had was stretching the program out to fill a one-semester high school course that met for 200 minutes/week.
I need not have worried b/c my students took well to the curriculum which includes a workbook for them and I had more than enough material! To give you a little more detail: I started each class with a gratitude moment (students kept a gratitude journal and I gave them a prompt each day we met). If students were willing to (and mine certainly were!), I asked them to share their responses in a small group, with a partner, or as a whole class. The activity allowed for some thoughtful responses from the students themselves and there were some days when the gratitude journal sharing took 20 minutes!
After the gratitude journal, I just followed the program in the instructor’s guide that Gina shared and adapted it to fit the needs of my students. New material was introduced (powerpoints, ancillaries, student workbook, etc. - all in Gina’s program) and as the students became more comfortable and adept at managing a longer, formal, guided meditation, I would add those on the days when I could see they needed something in particular. For example, when I could tell that they were stressed about mid-terms, I would do a guided visualization or another meditation to help them work through their anxiety.
I also tried to incorporate as many hands-on activities that I could find on the internet for each lesson. There are quite a few including awe walks, eating mindfully, etc.
Something else that I did that I found very helpful was to administer a pre-course self-evaluation and a post-course evaluation (same evaluation). I kept the pre-course eval in a sealed manila envelope (I promised the students that I wouldn’t look at them) and after they completed the post-course eval, I handed them their pre-course eval so they could compare. It was awesome to hear the students yell, “Hey guys! I improved on ____!” I didn’t demand that the students turn in their two evaluations, but I did tell the students that I was really interested in how they did. Every student turned in their evals so I have some data to look through this summer. :)
I also asked students to “write me a note/letter” about the course. In the letter, they could tell me anything: was there something specific that you learned that really helped you? that didn’t help you? that you enjoyed most? that you didn’t enjoy? that you would change? etc.
Sorry the message was so long! I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you!