HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — News 8’s  back to school coverage continues with what local teachers are doing to help their students relax.

It seems that the topic of mental health is becoming more popular everyday, from heated political debates, to workplace policies and now in schools. 

Pre-K teachers at Quest Elementary School in Hilton have started what’s being called mindful minutes. It’s a way for students to take a break during the school day to recharge and refocus.

Health experts say by doing this, students will develop emotional resilience and self-regulation skills which could lead to a more calmer and more engaged classroom.

“Being able to help them understand how to navigate through the present moment, and understand the feelings that they have and the emotions that they have, so they are able to become more self aware of that,” said Christy Neu, pre-kindergarten teacher. “They’re able to manage those emotions so they can be ready to receive the academic learning, and the relationships they build with their peers, I think that’s the biggest impact that’s been exciting to watch.” 

The principal at the school says starting up these mindful minutes is one piece of the district’s strategic plan to work around social and emotional learning. School officials say it helps build strong relationships between student and teacher.  

“Education is tough. It’s tough work. Kids come with different emotions, and just corralling 22 kids in your classroom, and trying to meet all their needs at different times that’s a really hard job. I think the more we do to educate ourselves and to be emotionally aware and focus on that moment, the better chance we have in helping each kid maximize their learning,” said Derek Warren, principal at Quest Elementary.  

Teachers and other area school districts hope that other classroom adopts the concept. A way students can have a better behavioral outcomes and see those A’s on those report cards.

For more information: https://www.teachstarter.com/us/blog/classroom-mindfulness-activities-for-children-us/