Living in the society of immediacy, wrapped in the noise of superficial information, can lead us away from an attitude of growth and well-being. Group silence and mental silence are essential for coexistence both in class and in social groups.
Although classrooms that are not well managed can be useful in giving us the opportunity to work on self-management individually, it is important to convey to students the idea that silence and physical and group order begin with silence and individual mental order. .
Silence and order in the classes allow the good flow of the planned learning situations. On the contrary, noise and lack of organization encourage distraction and make it more difficult to retain information.
Respect and relaxation
When we talk about noise, we refer to non-productive, external noise, not to the sounds of many active methodologies that favor cooperative work. But except in those cases, a calm and orderly environment improves the dynamics of the class, establishes a culture of respect and responsibility, and facilitates learning for all students.
Managing to connect with calm de-stresses us. Relaxation allows introspection, and helps us to be aware of what is happening inside and outside of us.
Being aware means being aware of, paying attention to, observing our own thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It also involves awareness of the world around us, whatever is out there (people, sounds, smells…).
If in the classroom we treat the dynamics and the environment of the classes to achieve this type of attention, the interruptions will be less, by the will of each individual-student.
Seeking a non-reactive and contemplative consciousness implies learning to relate to ourselves in a much healthier way in order to reach a healthy interaction with others.
Self-knowledge and scientific work
Depending on the age and maturity of the individuals, this internal scientific task of self-knowledge must be educated. Working on conscious teaching has the following effects:
- Psychological well-being: Reduces stress levels , anxiety, depression and increases levels of positive affect.
- Emotional regulation: Greater self-control of negative emotions and development of integrating emotions (love, kindness, compassion and equanimity) for a greater ability to manage emotions properly.
- Cognitive function: Increased levels of attention, creativity, self-regulation, and executive function .
- Social and school environment: Increase in social skills and socially competent behaviors, improvements in the classroom climate, in behavior and in academic performance.
Deautomate and don’t fight
Our conscience allows us to stop fighting or controlling what cannot be controlled and deautomatize our behavior by ceasing to react compulsively and aggressively to what happens inside and outside of us.
Being aware also gives us the possibility to develop some wisdom and feelings of love and respect towards ourselves and towards others.
Educating attention allows boys and girls to be more aware of themselves, their environment, the people with whom they interact, and to learn to relate in a more responsible and serene way. Learning the mechanisms of our cognition and emotion we call conscious education .
As Aristotle said :
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is not educating at all.”
Active listening, reflection and meditations
Taking time for students to listen to their own breathing and the natural sounds of the classroom or environment is one of the ways to achieve this relaxation. Asking them to reflect, instead of talking when an idea comes to mind, can encourage them to focus and be able to control themselves.
One method, for example, that I have implemented is the SOPAR greeting (silence, little finger; order, ring finger; participation, middle finger; attention, index finger and respect, thumb): it consists of showing the hand by raising it, with the closed thumb if the class disperses. If everyone shuts up and stops what they are doing and pays attention, in silence and in order to participate in the explanation or the dynamic, then the thumb R of respect will open, because group respect has been achieved.
Small meditations, depending on the age, when changing classes, when going up from the patio or when entering class to relax and focus will always be of great help. Even if it’s just seeing how many breaths I can count without a thought intruding on that conscious task. If he intrudes, I kindly reset the count.
Beyond the imposed order, the internal order
It is the task of the educational community to find the best strategies to keep classes in order. Not for the comfort of the teacher, or to better “control” the students, but to achieve the best results with the students in the classroom.
The classroom is the place where students live and learn and it is an important place that they must learn to respect.
Author Bio: Antonio Francisco Manas Perez is an Educational Researcher at the International University of Valencia