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The Conscious Classroom

Author: Amy Edelstein

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The Conscious Classroom with host Amy Edelstein explores the world of mindfulness in education. Amy will share best classroom tools and practices for adolescents, why teaching students about perspectives, worldviews, and context is as important as teaching classic stress reduction tools including breath, body scan, and open awareness mindfulness techniques. We'll look at trauma sensitive approaches, systems thinking, social emotional skills and how to empower teens and support mental wellness. Amy Edelstein is the founder of Inner Strength, which has trained over 10,000 Philadelphia teens with its 3-month high school mindfulness and systems thinking curriculum. Visit: www.InnerStrength.Education.
26 Episodes
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Thanksgiving is a time for conscious appreciation, recognizing the gifts in our lives, even during hard times like these days during the pandemic. How to we build gratitude and what is the relationship between gratitude, awareness, and ease? In this episode, Amy Edelstein will share some insights about the deeper dimensions of gratitude, how our culture and self-sense can serve to obstruct our appreciation for connectedness, and how, once we begin to build our muscles of thanks it makes us extraordinarily happy. As always, mindfulness exercises to build conscious classrooms are included.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude

2020-11-1731:21

In this Conscious Classroom episode, Amy Edelstein will explore different ways to think about gratitude as well as several different mindfulness practices that you can share with your students to cultivate a deeper sense of care in your classroom.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Gratitude feels good. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein will talk about building a culture of thanks. As we lean into the Thanksgiving season, it’s a time where we can begin to bring in awareness of the things that we’re grateful for and start helping our students appreciate so much around them. Specific gratitude practices, questions, and meditations will help you build a culture of thanks in your classroom.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
COVID-19 has changed all our lives. Students, Teachers, Parents . . . . But regardless of the medium you are going back to school - online or in person or blended, it really is great to be back in class. Learning, teaching, connecting is perhaps more important than ever. When you don't take school for granted, which we can't in these times, the school connections become even more precious. Enjoy this exploration and some guided meditation. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Cultivating Awareness

Cultivating Awareness

2020-10-0644:17

Awareness is the foundation of stability, good relationships, and creative learning. Mindfulness techniques help teens cultivate self-knowledge – the awareness of their habits of thought and behavior, their likes and dislikes, and the way they feel happiness and sadness. In this Conscious Classroom episode, Amy Edelstein will shed light on how we cultivate awareness and lead you through meditation exercises you can do in your classroom.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Raising Enthusiasm

Raising Enthusiasm

2020-09-1530:33

In this Conscious Classroom episode, Amy Edelstein will share mindfulness tools and tips to raise the level of enthusiasm for learning. She’ll illuminate why mindful perspective taking can shift students from blasé to interested in simple but profound ways. You’ll learn how to inspire your students to seek that experience of “being in the zone.”Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
It’s the start of the school year. Hey, no smell of new textbooks, no bulletin boards to decorate, no lockers to assign, no bells and the patter of hundreds of pairs of shoes clattering down the hallways. This year is quiet. Buildings at rest. Teachers and students at home, each in our own little spaces, connecting via . . . what seems like magic . . .  our bodies and voices broadcast as little bits of numeric data, miraculously appearing on the screen in front of us. How do we humanize this experience? How do we create a sense of togetherness and community? How do we energize tired bodies and tired minds? Join Amy Edelstein for an exploration of - S.P.A.C.E. - 5 practices you can work with to create a more conscious classroom. Put these in your toolbox to help set up the most welcoming virtual atmosphere and to use as touchstones throughout the year. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Love of learning is essential for youth to truly internalize information. Contemplative exercises, contextual seeing, and the practice of re-framing our worldview cultivate a student’s curiosity. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein will talk about how to shift a student’s experience from overwhelm to interest, and how to work with the art and science of observation and reflection. As always, the episode will include information and practice.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Bruce Lee, the iconic martial artist, often spoke about the value of a mind like water -- fluid, flexible, soft enough to go around obstacles, persistent enough to carve a hole in rock, and forceful enough to uproot tall trees or buildings. Water can be invisible as steam, transparent in its liquid state, and hard and opaque as ice. Our minds can be as flexible and powerful if we know how to cultivate attentive calm, precise discrimination, and flexible perspectives. In this episode, Amy Edelstein will talk about using the metaphor of a Mind Like Water to inspire these qualities in the classroom. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Improving Friendship

Improving Friendship

2020-07-0733:48

Good relationships with adults and peers help teens navigate mental and emotional challenges more effectively than any other intervention. Friendships gone sour can snuff out the light of enthusiasm in an adolescent. How do we help our teens learn the art and science of friendship? In this Conscious Classroom episode, Amy Edelstein will map the cartography of friendship. She will guide you in mindful awareness practices you can use with your students to help them learn how to be better friends to themselves and to others. You will also learn some of the Inner Strength tools that we use in our classrooms to help students identify those qualities that are important in a friendship and strengthen those traits in themselves.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Amplifying Celebration

Amplifying Celebration

2020-07-0239:35

Hard to believe, the end of the school year is upon us! In this Conscious Classroom Webinar, Amy Edelstein will lead you in some reflections and meditations that will celebrate the year’s victories, allow more challenging times to be assimilated and transformed into lessons learned, and consciously close the year so everyone can enjoy the summer break ahead.This episode looks at how to bring in celebration in the time of COVID-19 and protests for equality and the end of racism. Teens are still teens and need to celebrate milestones, rights of passage, and have levity and joy. We will also look at summer resources to help teens navigate the lack of structure and support, and unease that sometimes arises when they are faced with the long stretch of the vacation months ahead.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Resistance and frustration is an inevitable human reaction to the stressful conditions we are living in. We can learn to allow, observe, and be with our responses as they are, without creating more tension or negative self judgment. Self care means treating ourselves with kindness, learning how to be gentle when needed and how to turn our minds away from thought patterns that sap our vitality and well-being. Working with tools such as breath, body scan, or love & kindness all affect different parts of the brain and produce different long term changes if we keep practicing. We'll touch on what creates changes in our state experience and what leads to lasting effects or changes in our personality traits. We will also look at conditioned guilt or habit of minimizing positivity in order to seem more "empathetic" and consider the value and importance of accessing the irrepressible positivity of life. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
In this episode of special support for educators during the time of school closures looks at how we build our inner capacity so we have a little more strength. Our inner systems feel like they have very little give right now. How do we create a little more space for all the frustration? We'll talk about expanding our context, deepening our understanding of interconnectivity and using awareness to focus. By expanding our context, we'll look at the miracle of how our world came into being, the beautiful evolutionary story. We'll also explore interconnectivity, how everything emerged from something else and how if you trace back far enough you can see that none of us are actually isolated and separate from everything else around us. It doesn't mean we won't keep missing the people we love, we are social beings, but we will see that we are deeply interconnected. In two long guided contemplative practices, we'll look at how to cultivate ease by being patient, even if we believe we are not very good at letting go. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
The end of the school year is a special time. Conscious endings and appreciation for the heartwarming things that happened during the course of the year make all the difference. As educators, we need to learn to let go, nourish ourselves with lessons learned, and release ourselves to enjoy the downtime. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein will help you end the year on a note of positivity and resolution.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Have you ever thought about why they say "Patience is a virtue"? Virtue is not only meant  as an inherent moral goodness but also as a quality that we can develop if we apply ourselves to it over time. It is not necessarily easy to cultivate. Patience is  a coveted character trait. During the times of great challenge, we naturally want the hardship to be over. We want to return to a life of relative ease, stability, and familiarity. The reality is, upheavals of the magnitude we are experiencing now have ripple effects extending well into the future. There are many uncertainties. Many unknowns. Many contingencies. Cultivating patience through the emotional and practical ups and downs is essential for our own well being and for us to be positive guiding forces in the lives of the students we teach and the colleagues we supervise. Mindfulness teaches us to be patient and interested in what is. It teaches us to work with the immediacy of our experience, to watch sensations, thoughts, and feelings arise and pass away. It reveals how within a great unchanging concern, there are infinite small pieces that are constantly vacillating. Our experience is not static. Becoming aware of the constant movement supports the practice of patience, it captures our attention, it keeps us alert and watching rather than bored, apathetic, or resigned. Work with the contemplations this week to open your own ability to be interested in your experience. Notice how that interest brings about a willingness to be with what is. That willingness enables you to be patient and allow. Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Teens are more stressed than ever before. The cloud of testing looms large over students and anxiety about grades and performance can incapacitate ordinarily happy kids. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein will teach you how to help your students use mindfulness and other systems thinking practices to do their best and to gain confidence from the learning and victories they've had over the entire year.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
How can we integrate all we are thinking and feeling at this time? What is the Body-Mind connection? When we take into account thought patterns, the frameworks we rely on to make meaning, and the quality of our awareness, we start to open up and integrate our entire experience. Just paying attention without also examining the context within which we are paying attention is partial. Just exploring our worldviews and interpretive frameworks without paying attention to the qualities of consciousness and to the clarity of our own awareness is also partial. In this episode you'll be led through some body scan for relaxation so you can better manage your own experience.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
The Dynamics of Calm

The Dynamics of Calm

2020-05-1235:33

Kids are naturally full of energy. That energy, when channeled helps learning. And yet, as teachers we crave calm. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom Calm, Amy Edelstein will show you that calm doesn’t always look “quiet.” And quiet isn’t always calm. You’ll learn more about how to create authentic calm, ease of being, and openness in your classroom. As always, we’ll do some mindfulness and perspective taking practices to experience and to promote ease of being in the classroom.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
Developing Patience

Developing Patience

2020-04-2824:38

Patience is a virtue. In our era of ever-increasing speed and ever-decreasing attention span, cultivating this virtue may be harder than ever. And yet we must. We must both cultivate our own patience and that of our students. In this Conscious Classroom episode we will work with mindful awareness tools to develop patience. Amy Edelstein will shed light on how and why doing something as simple as watching the breath, becoming aware of thoughts, and noticing sensations can improve our tolerance and our care.Support the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
In the age of coronavirus, everything has changed. Usually at this time, students would be focusing on testing skills. Now they are needing to cultivate many new habits, some good, some not so good. How do we support them to learn in a relaxed way? How do we help them to bypass self-consciousness and drop into their authenticity and creativity? Join Amy Edelstein for insight and experiential tools to develop relaxed and alert focus. For more, visit www.InnerStrength.EducationSupport the show (https://bit.ly/supportCCPodcast)
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