Crowned App of the Year in 2017, the Calm app boasts an impressive catalogue of resources to help you meditate, sleep, focus and relax. I am a personal fan of the music libraries when I am studying and at bedtime. I pop on my headphones and I am out like a light! The app also includes sleep stories, guided meditation and masterclasses on a variety of topics. With wellness and mental health becoming an increasingly prominent topic in schools for students and teachers alike, wouldn’t it be fabulous for teachers to make use of these tools in and out of the classroom? Well, now they can...
"If every 8 year old is taught meditation, we will eliminate
I was thrilled to discover an amazing initiative underway called the Calm Schools Initiative. The team at Calm are offering every teacher in the world access to the Calm app...for FREE...forever! To put this into a little perspective a Calm lifetime subscription is priced at $599 on the Australian Apple App Store. As a past subscription paying user, it was worth the money in my opinion. Any investment in your health and wellness is a good investment.
Numerous studies have shown the many benefits of teaching mindfulness to children. Through mindfulness education, kids can develop a lifelong capacity for greater self-awareness, concentration, patience, and resilience. Our aim is to empower teachers with mindfulness tools and resources they can use to help kids learn this new skill.
Calm in the Classroom
New and planned to expand on the app are the guided meditation sessions for kids. These are broken into age ranges and vary in length, from 3 to 13 minutes (for older children). This makes it easy to run a quick session at the start/end of the school day or as a break between lessons. I think teachers will get plenty of use out of the music library, particularly if you are like me and enjoying music in your classroom. Try music focus songs during work time, relaxing music during art or to wind down after playtime.
Calm is for Teachers too!
Teaching is a stressful gig. I have blogged about it before. Teacher mental health and wellness needs greater attention. After all, we are the individuals in the classroom with the children each day. We cannot look after them if we cannot look after ourselves. Happy, healthy and calm teachers are going to also benefit their students' classroom experiences. Teachers may find the mindfulness training valuable too. There are some great collections targeting stress, anxiety, self-care and inner peace. If you are anything like me, a good sleep fixes a multitude of issues. I recommend the sleep stories, which include readings by Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry.
How to get Calm for Free
Hopefully you would like to be a part of the Calm Schools initiative and bring mindfulness to your students and school.
To get your special teacher access, follow this link and complete the form found on the page. Look out for an email from the Calm team which will contain a special code for you to redeem online. That’s it! Calmer, happier times are ahead!
Be sure to share this post and spread the word among fellow educators. It is a fantastic initiative and I am super impressed by the Calm team - a big thank you from teachers and students everywhere!
With the digital world constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up with it, and that means you need to be wary of keeping your own kids safe online too. Here are some ways of looking after their safety, so that they can continue to roam happily online.
Block Certain Websites With Parental Safety Feature
There’s no denying that there are plenty of websites that children can stumble across if they’re not careful and therefore it’s good to block these websites from appearing in the first place. Thankfully, most of our internet providers and browsers will have safety options available to block these websites from being accessed. These cyber security, network security systems are very useful so that you can at least have peace of mind that the sites they’re visiting are somewhat safe to use.
Educate Them On Using Websites Safely
Your children may be at an age where they can access social media platforms and so it’s important to educate them on how to use these safely. For those who grow up around technology, it can be easy to just dismiss giving lessons on how to use them properly, but it’s crucial to in order to keep them safe from those online who have the wrong intentions. A few tips to give them would be never to give out any personal information and not to befriend anyone they don’t know offline. On no circumstances should they meet up with someone they’ve met online unless you go with them and trust the person at the other end of the conversation.
The Importance Of Trust
Having restrictions on websites may not always be the right port of call for some age groups of children. So it’s a good thing to discuss with your children, that you are trusting them to stay on mainstream sites and reiterate the perils of the internet. If you trust them, they are less likely to disobey, especially when you’ve given them your trust in the first place without asking for it.
If there comes the point where they’ve taken advantage of your trust, bring in the restrictions to show them that they’ve done wrong.
Teach Them From An Early Age
It’s hard to believe it, but many younger generations now are being given this technology from the moment they can talk and walk. So it’s very important to start teaching them about technology and online safety from an early age. It’s up to you when it comes to how much time you allow them to have, so if you need to, set a time limit on how long they can browse for. Stress the importance of family time and time away from the internet.
The online world is vast, and although it has, it’s dark elements, most of it can be very beneficial for learning and for socialising. Teach them about how to use the internet and be there to give advice if they feel like they’ve stumbled upon something that they shouldn’t have.
Read all about my thoughts on teaching in the 21st Century, my experiences with technology in the classroom, running a Maker Space, launching STEAM and Design Thinking with students, coding, robotics and much more!
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