How I helped my student find her inner light
How are you coping with the winter blues? You may have heard that here in the UK we have been in another lockdown since last week. The number of coronavirus cases is increasing rapidly worldwide and I can sense that anxiety is building up in many of my students. But today I would like to share a positive story with you.
When I started teaching Angela (now aged 14) seven years ago, we had so much fun in our classes. We used to:
🎭 act out
🏰 create plays with her dolls and magic castle
When I moved to England and started working at a big Language School in Eastbourne, I had to say goodbye to most of my online pupils, including Angela. It was hard but my biggest dream EVER had come true and I needed to move forward in my life.
Over a year ago Angela's mum contacted me to find out if I would be willing to teach her daughter again. They'd moved to New Zealand and the girl was struggling to keep pace with her peers. Of course, I didn't hesitate to welcome Angela back. I was looking forward to having fun with her again.
However, things were different. Totally different. A pair of beautiful big blue eyes were staring at me but Angela's face was emotionless and cold. I knew she was finding it tough to adapt to the new environment and I was determined to help her.
I had to use different mindfulness techniques to prepare myself for each lesson which was like an emotional torture for me. I've always had a great rapport with my students so I had to brace myself every time I had to meet Angela.
Before the lesson I had to ground myself by
🧍doing a body scan
🙏sending loving kindness
And during the lesson I was particularly adamant in speaking and listening mindfully. Even though the mother had insisted on improving Angela's academic writing, I found ways to introduce meditation and visualisation in class. What I noticed was that every time I decided to apply a tool from my mindfulness box, her energy shifted.
Gradually the walls, Angela had built around herself, started to melt away. It was a long and strenuous process but I am glad I had the patience and tools to use in order to help my student find her inner light again.
What would you have done if you had found yourself in a similar situation?🤔
NB The student's name has been changed in order to protect her privacy.
Looking for some lessons which utilise mindfulness tools? Why don't you check out my bundle "Sights and Sounds of Winter"?
It includes three lesson plans:
1. The little snowman
This is a visualisation-based lesson for young learners, in which the students will visualise their own snowman. They'll practise speaking, listening and writing skills. In one of the steps, they'll learn vocabulary related to comparing pictures.
2. Winter Wonderland
This is a visualisation-based lesson for teens and adults ( level B2). The students will learn new vocabulary and play a game to practise it. The visualisation is followed up by a reading comprehension task. Finally, they'll put their heads together to create their own Winter Wonderland.
3. Winter hot-air balloon race
This is an image-based lesson for teens and adults ( level B1/B2) in which they'll have to put on their creative hats and practise speaking and writing skills.
The lessons are a gentle mix of mindfulness and modern language teaching.
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Did you have the chance to download my mindful calendar for 2021? If not, you can get your own copy here.