Francis Parker School teacher Laurence Darmalingom-Hoover, known as Madame Darma to her students, teaches a mindfulness class for Grade 6 students at Parker. This course promotes wellness in the busy lives of our students. This season, the class focuses on spreading gratitude, joy, and kindness during the holiday season with journal reflections, discussions, and a bespoke mindfulness practice, shared below. 

“I center the class around kindness, compassion, and gratitude by emphasizing how important those three things are for the well-being of self and others in our community,” Laurence says, “I teach them that kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate, but also that kindness represents so much more if they want to change the world.”

Many students have shared with Laurence that the practices of mindfulness that they have learned in class have helped them in their personal lives with sports, tests, and life pressures in general.

Laurence has shared a recording of her holiday season mindfulness practice, so that students and families can listen and practice mindfulness during winter break. Through her class, students learn that mindfulness helps them cultivate gratitude and joy and control their reactions to things around them that might otherwise create painful or upsetting reactions.

“The holiday season is a time for happiness and joy. Find your happiness and joy in gratitude and kindness,” Laurence says, “Remember to help those who may feel sad, anxious, or afraid. Create smiles and warmth all around you with love and compassion. Happy Holidays!”