Alexandria School helps children focus using meditation techniques

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At George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia, some teachers begin classes with meditation to help students focus.

Middle school can be a stressful environment, so a school in Alexandria, Virginia is experimenting with new techniques to help students succeed.

At George Washington Middle School, some teachers begin classes with meditation. The lights are dimmed, soothing music is turned on and the teachers lead the children to breathe, settle in and focus on something positive.

Sometimes the students repeat the sentence: “There is greatness in you.”

Teacher Elkin Rodriguez said it was important for students to listen to their inner voices. She suggests to her students that her inner voice may sometimes say, “We can be good friends today, great students.”

Students and teachers said a few minutes of thought had paid off in terms of focus, behavior, and even self-esteem.

Sixth grader Miley Gutierrez enjoys the concentrated time.

“It helps me be ready to learn,” she said. “It calms my body and is distracting.”

Keisel Sanchez, 11, said the classroom setting was loud and distracting before meditating became part of the routine.

Meditation, time to reflect, and a cell phone ban have made @GWMSPrexies progress towards a more peaceful classroom environment. Check out the new way of life that Ms. McNutt, Mr. Rodriguez, Principal Mazur and other GWMS staff have started: https://t.co/xeQ3Jv2rXQ pic.twitter.com/EJGY6fvPRD

– Alexandria City Public Schools (@ ACPSk12) February 11, 2020

Many parents at school support the meditation sessions and even ask how they can recreate the surroundings at home.

In addition to meditation, cell phones are not allowed in the school. Director Jesse Mazur said politics make sure every second of the day counts.

Mazur said he wants to remove the social media “drama” that is devouring students and free school counselors who have been involved in subsequent “fires”.

He said removing smartphones had changed the environment and was one of the best decisions he had ever made.

Few parents have objected to the ban, complaining that they cannot easily contact their children during school hours.

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