Aireachas sa bhaile agus sa seomra ranga

Le roinnt blianta anuas, tá plé mór in Éirinn ar imní agus strus i measc páistí óga. Le linn na 16 bliana atá caite agam féin sa seomra ranga agus ag obair le múinteoirí ar fud na tíre, tá sé tugtha faoi deara agam go bhfuil méadú tagtha ar imní ghinearálta i measc páistí. Léiríonn páistí imní ar bhealaí éagsúla. Uaireanta, is léir an míshuaimhneas iontu nó bíonn sé deacair dóibh dul a chodladh. In amanna eile, ní léir go bhfuil imní orthu ach bíonn sé deacair orthu díriú ar a bhfuil le déanamh acu nó druideann siad isteach iontu féin sa seomra ranga nó sa bhaile; isminic a cheaptar gur drochiompar is cúis leis sin.

 

Thart ar ocht mbliana ó shin, toisc go raibh mé buartha faoi na páistí i mo sheomra ranga féin, fuair mé oiliúint in aireachas agus machnamh do pháistí agus thosaigh mé á gcleachtadh sa rang. Torthaí iontacha a bhí air sin. Bhí na páistí níos suaimhní, bhí siad in ann díriú ar a raibh le déanamh acu, tháinig feabhas ar a n-iompar agus bhí níos lú achrainn sa seomra ranga agus sa chlós. Dúirt tuismitheoirí go raibh giúmar níos fearr ar na páistí sa bhaile agus go raibh pátrúin chodlata níos fearr acu. Thug mé faoi deara go raibh trua agus comhbhá ag méadú i measc na bpáistí agus ionam féin mar mhúinteoir, rud a chuir leis an gcaidreamh a bhí agam leo. Is é sin cumhacht an aireachais.

 

Níl i gceist leis an aireachas ach aird an duine a thraenáil chun fanacht sa nóiméad láithreach. B’fhéidir gur cur síos sách teibí é sin ach is féidir an t-aireachas a áireamh mar chuid den ghnáthshaol ranga nó teaghlaigh go héasca má leantar céimeanna simplí. Tá Tabhair Aire Duit Féin bunaithe ar an obair atá déanta agam chun cuidiú le páistí iad féin a chiúnú agus chun féintuiscint a fhorbairt.

 

Tá cleachtais aireachais ghearra sa leabhar is féidir a úsáid ó lá go lá – cleachtais shimplí atá oiriúnach don seomra ranga nó do shaol an teaghlaigh. Tá machnaimh shamhlúcháin ann freisin a thabharfaidh an páiste isteach i ndomhan slán a shamhlóidh siad féin. Tá rannóg sa leabhar faoi acmhainní folláine más maith leat spás suaimhnis a chruthú dó bosca imní a úsáid, acmhainní a chuirfidh leis na cleachtais eile sa leabhar.

 

Is é an sprioc atá againn leis an leabhar seo ná go mbeidh léitheoirí in ann cleachtadh an aireachais agus atmaisféar suaimhneach a thabhairt isteach sa seomra ranga nó i saol an teaghlaigh, ar bhealaí atá caolchúiseach ach cumhachtach.

 

Highlighting mindfulness at home and in the classroom

In recent years, anxiety and stress in children have become major talking points in Ireland. Over the past sixteen years, between the classroom and working with teachers nationwide, I have become aware of more and more cases of general anxiety among children. Anxiety can present in many ways in children as visible unease or trouble sleeping – or in less obvious ways, such as a lack of concentration and withdrawal in the classroom or at home (which can be mistaken for poor behaviour).

 

About eight years ago, as a result of concerns I had for the children in my own classroom, I did some training in mindfulness and meditation for children and decided to bring these practices to the classroom. The results were powerful and included increased calm in the children along with improved focus and concentration, improved behaviour, and a decrease in conflict both in the classroom and in the yard. Parents reported improved mood and sleeping patterns in their children. I also noticed a growing feeling of compassion and empathy among the children, and in myself as the teacher, strengthening the connection between myself and the children.

Mindfulness is the practice of training your attention to be in the present; this may sound a little abstract but with easy to follow steps, these practices can easily become part of classroom or family life. Tabhair Aire Duit Féin is based on my experience of working with children, empowering them with the ability to self-calm and become more self-aware.

 

The book includes short mindful practices that can be used on a daily basis – simple practices perfect for a busy classroom or family home. It also includes visualisation meditations which carry the child off into their own safe fantasy world. There is a section on wellbeing resources if you would like to set up a relaxing space for your child/children or learn how to use a worry box, all of which complement the other practices in the book.

 

Our intention with this book is that using it will allow you to bring mindfulness practice and a sense of calm into the classroom or the home in subtle but powerful ways.

 

 

 

Anne-Marie Ireland agus Fionnuala Cloke, maisithe ag Olivia Golden

Tabhair aire duit féin

Cois Life, October 2018 €12.00 (BOG) ISBN 9781907494727