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Q "What are Different Ways I can use Yoga to Promote Positive Behavior in my Classroom?" - Question submitted by a Third Grade Teacher in Central Illinois
A Yoga is an excellent tool promote positive behavior in the classroom and in this edition of Mindful Practice's Teacher Tips I will discuss three ways to promote positive behavior in the classroom.
Positive Behavior Tip #1: Use Yoga to Help Students Reflect on Negative Behavior
The first method is geared towards the student who is exhibiting disruptive behavior in the classroom. When a student acts out simply say, "Javier, let's take a moment to reflect on your negative behavior, head over to the Yoga Center and do Tree pose for 5 breaths. Once you are finished, please complete a Positive Behavior Journal." This easy and effective yoga technique encourages positive behavior by allowing your students the time to reflect on their wrong doing.
Positive Behavior Tip #2: Reward Positive Behavior by Awarding Yoga Leader Duties to Good Students
Another great way to promote positive behavior in the classroom with yoga is to reward students exhibiting good behavior by appointing them to be the Yoga Leader for the day or week. For example, "Jimmy, since you have been such a good listener during math this morning, I would like you to lead our Yoga session after lunch. Please think of the poses you'd like to do while you are at lunch today." Not only does this method reward the student who exemplified good behavior, it also communicates to the rest of the students what is expected of them in a non-punitive manner. Plus, the reward encourages better behavior moving forward. In the previous example, students will be more likely to emulate Jimmy's behavior during the next math lesson in hopes of being selected as the Yoga Leader.
Positive Behavior Tip #3: Use Memory Minute to Calm Down a Rowdy Classroom
Unfortunately, there are moments when the whole class is acting up. To regain control of a rowdy classroom in a timely fashion lead the class in a Memory Minute breathing exercise. During this minute, the whole class should be absolutely quiet with each student focusing in on their own breath. Be patient and feel free to extend the minute if you feel the students need more reflection time. After the minute has passed, have the Yoga Leader guide the class in a calming yoga pose such as Seated Arm Stretch and then resume teaching. Be sure to take part in the memory minute, as well. Always remember, a Focused Teacher = A Focused Classroom
- Question Answered By: Carla Tantillo, founder of Mindful Practices