Students commonly struggle as a result of many things: anxiety due to their parents divorcing, depression resulting from trauma, or other life changing events. Parents, researchers, and teachers are always on the look-out for something that will ease the strain on struggling students and let them bloom into their potential. One school may have found a solution. In a recent New York Times article, a poor inner-city school was spotlighted for their way of trying to help struggling students–meditation.
It only takes a few minutes
After 7 years of constant stress and fights in his school, a principal teamed up with a Wellness Center and developed the “Quiet Time Program.” This program would make Quiet Time happen twice a day, each for 15 minutes. During Quiet Time, students could either practice meditation or choose a quiet activity like reading or drawing. The school had identified that many struggling students struggle because of stress due to issues at home, poverty, fear, and more. Stress is something all teenagers have experienced at some point–many more than others.
The school chose a specific type of meditation used for stress relief, it’s called transcendental meditation. The results after 3 years surprised everyone. Not only had suspensions plummeted by 79 percent and attendance shot up by 98 percent, but those that were struggling the most (students with the lowest GPAs) had increased their GPAs to double the overall student group average.
More benefits have come to light
The success of the “Quiet Time Program” prompted many schools to follow suit. Along with that came researchers who wanted to figure out exactly what the benefits of mediation in school were. Even after 3 months of trials, researchers found that students who practiced meditation in school increased in self confidence, happiness, sleep quality, emotional intelligence, and overall academic performance.
Even though meditation can’t solve all the issues struggling students deal with, it can increase their ability to perform in school and their overall mental health.