Effects on Academic Achievement
Matt Leland (2005) emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness on academic achievement, “Mindfulness is helpful in the moment of learning and also in more future-focused skills. By maintaining a calmer view of the present, students are able to improve their study habits, planning, and organizational skills” (p. 20). During my elementary years, I wish I would have been taught more of these skills to help with the academic struggles I experienced. When I was younger, I remember feeling performance anxiety before I had to take an exam in science. Although I enjoyed science class and studied, I felt overwhelmed, nervous, and my mind was going in a million different directs. I also notice in my field experience that many of my students tense up or sigh when they are told they are about to take an exam. There is an uneasiness that affected students in the classroom and added pressure.
The research I gathered supported the positive effects mindfulness has on a student’s concentration, memory, and critical thinking skills. As a teacher, I would utilize this method before an exam by modeling to my students how to focus on their breath while moving and stretching their body. I would have students close their eyes and say positive words of affirmation about themselves in the present moment. Here, mindfulness and movement allow students to feel a sense of calmness, stimulate body and brain connections, and provide them with tools to take a positive approach