Do You Know Your Character Strengths?

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How many of you know your character strengths?  In our middle school classrooms, all students take the VIA character strengths survey to find out their strengths.  Why you ask?  Well, we think by our students knowing and understanding their strengths, it will help them better understand who they are, what they areas they are skilled in to help them increase their self-esteem and confidence while bringing more happiness to their lives.

“Our goal at the VIA Institute is to provide a simple and effective way for each of us to learn more about ourselves and our personalized pathways to happiness”  ~VIA Institute.

Why wouldn’t you want to increase your feelings of self-worth and happiness?  Take the free survey today to find out your VIA character strengths!  Every one should take it!!!  You never know, It may change your life…


The Power of Mindful Meditation

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Meditation, a practice that calms, reduces not so great stress and anxiety plus a handful of other health benefits, is a fad that has caught fire around world in the last couple years.  Although it may have started as a fad, I truly think meditation and the practice of teaching people how to be more mindful of themselves and their thoughts and emotions is fad that’s here to stay.  Especially as more and more kids are practicing meditation in schools who have implemented a meditation/mindfulness program into their daily school day.

In our health classes, we use meditation to start off our classes, every other class.  But our hope is that students will take what they learn from meditation and use it as a preventative outlet to reduce stress and anxiety at home. Of course we are also in hopes that our school will implement a meditation program school wide.

Some students are very lost when it comes to meditation so for the first half of the semester we use a guided meditation program called Smiling Mind out of Australia.  This gives students to learn how to meditate and understand that it may be difficult at first to sit for 6 min and just do NOTHING, but by the end of the semester, they’re asking for more time to meditate.

Prior to starting the program we want our students to understand all the health benefits they get from meditation.  The following video clips and articles are ones that we share with our students so they have a better understanding of WHY we take time to meditate in Health Class.  In the end, all the kids LOVE it!  And so does the teacher:)

Andy Puddicome TED Talk

Results of Quiet Time Program in Visitation Valley, San Francisco


From the Atlantic: Should Schools Teach Kids to Meditate?

From Time Magazine:  The Mindful Revolution

From LA times: Mindful Meditation at School Gives Kids tools for Emotional Expression

Screen Shot of Meditation Benefits (From Visitation Valley video clip)


Benefits of Meditation