Skip to main content Skip to search
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1
Classroom management. Two words that can make or break a teacher, a student, or a school. The management of behavior and logistics in a classroom is, for many, the cornerstone of instruction. Veteran teachers can recall classroom management strategies that drew on rewards, punishments, combinations of the two, and a good healthy dose of fear from time to time. At Westminster Center School (WCS) in Westminster, Vermont, classroom management is about building a tone of decency and respect in order to create collaborative communities in which students feel safe and supported. At WCS, teachers face the universal challenges of teaching in the twenty-first century--increasing poverty, intense family dynamics, and an increasingly isolated social culture all of which can lead students to act out in the classroom. For them, the solution lies in the idea of presence. Being present is simply to have awareness in the moment of what is unfolding both within and around a person so that he or she can connect with it. Others say that "being present" is about focusing a person's attention on one thing at a time, and focusing fully on the person or task before a person rather than multitasking, doing many things with partial, fractured attention and intention. For WCS teachers and students, being present is the cornerstone of their learning experience, and there are several routes to that presence. In this article, the author discusses how mindfulness and yoga practices can be a route to "being present." (Contains 12 resources.)