I recently read an article about a school in Baltimore, the Robert W. Coleman School implementing a change in their detention method and how it was a grand success. They said instead of treating detention as a punishment, meditation was used to calm and help students deal with anxiety and stress which helps disciplines their mental thoughts.
To meditate simply means to think deeply or focus your mind for a period of time. This could be done in silence or guided. Either way it allows the mind time to relax and reflect. This particular kind of reflections has been proven to decrease test anxiety and even improve their self discipline at home.
This article spoke life to me because all I could think about was the kids that are acting out at school because they actually have real problems at home; the kids that see Mom and Dad handling their emotions out of anger; kids accustomed to dysfunction. There are so many kids hurting, sad, and angry because of how they live outside of school that when they come to school, they just want to vent.
Kids vent from things that they aren’t yet mature enough to process, thus affecting their ability to learn or even concentrate. I think that replacing detention with meditation is a remarkable idea because it lessens the damages of their self esteem. Punishing someone for how they feel shouldn’t always be the first call to action. Let them breathe.
Teaching youth breathing methods while they’re angry is seemingly priceless yet so rich in value. I say this because it would be a ripple effect. Through repetition of meditation and other breathing techniques, it will become a part of their character. Perhaps it would directly affect their home life. At home, when things aren’t going to well, students will have learned ways to calm down, which can ultimately create a healthier environment.
Also, not only will the students begin to think more clearly but things like this will also affect their adult life, reducing their desire to be disruptive. Learning meditation at school will help them remember positive ways to cope with life in general.
It is definitely time to make adjustments in the school system for many reasons. Number one being that will live in a different time. Many kids today suffer from issues that didn’t exist years ago. Many young people today think in ways most people didn’t when they grew up. That means the formula must change. Change only happens when we implement it properly. Positive solutions typically produce positive results and it’s up to us to make it happen.
Big ups to Robert W. Coleman School for making the change. This is truly inspiring.