Another post from my first year. I still adore Quiet Time. It has become something a little more organic than all kids just sitting at their seats… shoes are tied, tears are wiped, band-aids applied, and hugs are given… lots of hugs. All this happens in silence and Yanni still soothes are souls.
When I was in kindergarten, I distinctly remember naptime. The teacher would pull out plastic mats and we would all lie down and close our eyes. I almost never fell asleep, and I remember just thinking ‘when will this be over?’ Well today, we don’t do naptime. Our school (and I suspect many others) doesn’t feel kids need to sleep, but they do need a rest. After lunch and recess, the kids come in for about fifteen to twenty minutes of ‘Quiet Time.’
As they come into the room, I have the lights off, shades drawn, and music playing. The kids come in, put their things away, and sit at their seats. The only rule is NO talking. I’m not even allowed to speak. I experimented with what the best music for relaxing would be. My instincts told me classical would work best. I was wrong. I think the strings were too jarring. Maybe it was just the selections I picked. The CD was called ‘Sleepy Time Classical’ – nobody fell anywhere close to asleep.
After visiting my acupuncturist and falling asleep myself, I asked him what the music was he used? Yanni. Yes, Linda Evans loving, longhaired, YANNI. I ran out and bought the CD immediately. I found an instant difference during ‘Quiet Time.’ The kids really relaxed and a few were even falling asleep.
Now most teachers would take these twenty minutes and use it to check email (um, kindergarten teachers never, I mean NEVER have time to check email…) or perhaps prep for the next lesson. I drag my chair into the middle of the carpet and have my very own ‘Quiet Time.’ I figured, if I want the kids to relax, meditate, and rest their bodies and minds for the afternoon, I better model this for them. I LOVE my ‘Quiet Time.’ I think everyone, no matter what grade you teach, or what industry you work in, should adopt it. Take a tip from me (and a group of five year olds), taking a short break (darkness and Yanni help) to rejuvenate and ready yourself for the rest of the day is surprisingly simple and effective.