I am passionate about meditation growing in popularity and love seeing how schools are starting to realise the importance of helping our young people feel more peaceful.
I started working about five years ago at Truro High School for Girls and at Newquay Junior Academy as a meditation teacher. The work was very rewarding and although I could see how it benefited the students greatly (I'll speak about some of the benefits shortly), I could also see that for me to go in once or twice a week for an hour at a time was less useful than if the teachers could actually learn how to teach meditation themselves. By teachers learning how to run guided meditations, this enables short sessions, 1 to 1 teaching, small groups and other specific ways of teaching to be met easily as and when necessary and the schools can really implement meditation on a daily basis.
So what I did was create a course which was a meditation teacher training course. I then went into schools and delivered this over a couple of sessions to a number of teachers. I also provided the manual from which they could work and refer to as necessary.
Going back to how the meditation sessions benefited the students; I enjoyed asking the students for feedback on how their own practice had gone and how they felt it had helped them. Students reported such things as falling out with their friends and siblings much less often, getting less angry about things and when they did feel angry, knowing how to control it better, sleeping more soundly, feeling less anxious, concentrating in class better, feeling less nervous before events such as dance competitions or exams. I also enjoyed the teachers giving me feedback too. One of the teachers that I taught the class of hadn't been to any of my classes but she asked if she could sit in on one as she was keen to see what I had actually been doing with the students. She said that after our class they would be much calmer and there would be much less aggression and disruption. This would last for a couple of days but then things would go a bit worse gradually, so she could see clearly that meditation needs to be regular. In the same way that we need to make exercise and eating well regular practise for the body, we need to make exercise for the mind a regular thing. We don't only need to eat vegetables once a week or exercise now and then, we need regular dedication to the things that serve us well.
Who is this course suitable for?
Although originally created for school teachers, this course has been used by counsellors, carers, yoga teachers, therapists and parents. Basically it is for anybody who wishes to learn about meditation and how to confidently run guided sessions with others, both children and adults. Whether you are a complete beginner to meditation, or an experienced meditator, this course will be beneficial to you. I believe that we are all capable of being wonderful meditation teachers and that we can all develop our own unique style and way. There are many accredited courses out there and I don't doubt that some of them are fantastic, but they cost a fantastic fortune also. You could go on a month retreat and stay in a beautiful setting where you spend each day in quiet peaceful surroundings and practise meditation for long periods of time. I'm not knocking that, but it isn't necessary to my mind in order to learn how to be a wonderful meditation teacher. If you have in your heart the wish to help others, and you learn some simple ways to deliver from your heart what you have learnt from this course, I truly believe that you can be a very good teacher.
What will you learn from this course?
You will learn how to create, structure and deliver meditation sessions to children and adults. You will receive many beautiful meditations that you can use and eventually as your confidence grows you will be able to write your own scripts (if you wish to do so). But until then you have plenty of easy to follow scripts that I have written that cover a huge variety of things, from simple relaxation exercises to imaginative visualisations to inspire and lift. You will learn many additional tips to enhance your skills and enable you to use meditation as a powerful tool in any kind of teaching or therapy that you are already working with.
What format is this course in?
Although I deliver this course as a workshop, the format I am currently providing is as a file document which you will receive as an attachment to an email. It is the workbook part of the workshop and can be worked through in your own time. It is over ten thousand words in length and so I do recommend that you read through it up until the actual meditation scripts and then use it as a reference manual from then. You will see when you receive it that it is set out in a simple way and enjoyable to read and use. There is absolutely no pressure to read it all the way through, to finish it, or to use all of it.
What ages are the meditations suitable for?
You will see that these scripts are to be read by you, so you can adapt as you wish according to the group and age you are teaching. You will make shorter ones for children who can't focus for long such as very young ones, change the wording to suit and use longer or shorter pauses. This course is suitable for all ages and there is something for everyone here.
About mindfulness and meditation
Benefits for physical health
Importance of meditation for children
Developing your own practice
Structuring a session
Typical classroom session
Scripts for a variety of meditations to cover a range of topics suitable for all ages