Education, Kids, Mindfulness, Yoga

What Impact do you Want to Have on the World?

Miss T, here!

Let’s have a chat about IMPACT for a second.. The impact we have on those around us.

I want to know…

What sort of impact do you want to have on the world? On your kids? On your students?

What legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be remembered for?

Speaking from an educator stand point, I, of course, wanted to have a positive impact on my students. To leave them better off than before they met me. To shape them into kind-hearted human beings who could accomplish anything they set their minds to.

But sometimes, having such high expectations leads to discouragement.

We try our hardest, day in and day out, to guide our students into doing the right things and accomplishing the right things. And sometimes (quite often even), things do not go as planned. Sometimes, we fall short.

A student is dishonest with you, or your class forgets the concepts you’ve been working so hard to solidify in their minds. OR, even worse, one student hurts another with their words, or their actions… after we spent so long trying to instill a sense of compassion and integrity within our classroom… 

It makes us question our efforts.

“Does what I do actually matter?…”

Trust me.. I’ve had more bad days than I can count. And many times when I’ve asked myself this very same question. 

But I want to share a story with you. A story that hopefully will inspire you and remind you that ALL of your efforts really DO matter. They may not matter all in one day, or one week, or even in one school year. 

But over time, the little bits of impact are compounded! And great things begin to happen…

I worked at Sherwood Elementary for 6 years, all years spent working in our Special Needs Adaptability Program. Which means, I was lucky enough to establish some amazing relationships with some amazing kids. Many of these students were in my class for multiple years. 

There are students from that school and that program whom I will never forget. But one in particular who stands out in my mind. We shared a moment at the end of the 2020/2021 school year that made all those years of struggle worth it for me.

His name is Fadi.

Fadi* is a child on the spectrum. He started in my class when he was in grade 2 and I worked with him on and off until our school closed when he was in grade 5.

Fadi has a twin brother, also on the spectrum, but because of his more aggressive tendencies, was placed in a different adaptability program. Fadi, on the other hand, is quiet, kind, and sensitive. 

I was drawn to Fadi right from the get-go because of his love of reading and his calm demeanor. He also became an avid attender of my Mindfulness Club.

Almost every single day that Mindfulness Club was ‘open for business’, he was there. Always the first in line.

He became one of my ‘Mindfulness Leaders.’

Quite often, I’d find Fadi alone out in the playground or in the field with a book in his hand, calmly holding a Yoga pose. Tree pose is a favorite of his. 

Sometimes, with my adaptability students, it was tricky to tell if Mindfulness helped them in the ways I hoped. It was tougher to assess- because each day with these guys was different from the last.

But on our very last day of school (last day for the staff anyways, our students finished the day before), we all proceeded out of our schools front doors to have our final staff meeting farewell near the playground. 

On my way out of those doors, I noticed Fadi, standing there with his Mom and brother. They seemed to be waiting to hand out year-end gifts for his classroom teachers.

Looking as handsome and grown up as ever, he proceeded to walk towards me, clutching something in his hand. 

I was confused. 

“I’m not his classroom EA this year… Why would he be coming to see me? Why would he be dropping off something for me?”

Because our school was closing, Fadi was making the move to a new school for the following year, and he was here to express his gratitude to the educators who made a difference in his years at Sherwood.

“Miss T, I have this for you..” He handed me an envelope. His mom standing behind him, tearing up, proud of her little man and what he’d become.

I opened it. And it read:

“To Miss T,

Thank you for you helping me learn, and read, and do mindfulness.”

[grammatical errors left as is, although, I added the commas for easier reading]

I felt instant tears stream down my face. I understood exactly what his Mom felt, because, I too, was so proud of the boy he became.

And in this one instant, I understood that all my efforts actually did make a difference. 

Regardless of how hard and trying some days were, how challenging some kids were. I wouldn’t take back any part of it. Not a single day.

Because all of those hard days led up to this one moment. 

And so, before you begin questioning all of your efforts and asking yourself if what you do really matters, I challenge you to think of just one kiddo… One kiddo you know that has crossed your path and left for the better…

Would you take back all of your efforts just because you only helped one kiddo?

Hell no you wouldn’t! You do what you do because you want to have an impact, you are here to help.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to see the influence we have on others, but I’m here to remind you that:

You DO make a difference. 

And it doesn’t matter if it’s only 1 kid, or 10 kids.

At the end of the day, you made someone’s life better just by being in it.

And that, my friends, is a beautiful impact to have on the world..




With love,

Miss T.

*Student name changed to protect identity


The Starfish Story
By: Loren Eiseley

In my first year at Sherwood Elementary, our principal shared this beautiful story with our staff. It serves as a beautiful reminder about how even the smallest gesture can make the biggest difference… to someone...

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”

“Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die,” the boy replied.

The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles of miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference.”

After listening politely, the boy bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the surf. Then, he smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”


Education, Health / Wellness, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness, Yoga

How to Effortlessly Schedule Mindfulness into YOUR Day

Miss T, here!

In my last post, I explained, plain and simply, what mindfulness is.

Essentially, it is a state of being consciously aware of something… really anything! Anything that draws our focus to one particular thing in the present moment. 

This could mean bringing focus to our breath or our surroundings. Using our 5 senses to analyze the things around us. Grounding us here, in the now. 

Once we become better at practicing mindfulness, our subconscious will allow us to automatically become more present throughout our day. Until then, it’s important for us on a daily basis to deliberately schedule mindful moments in.

To train our subconscious mind.

These moments could be big or small, although I recommend beginning anything by starting small. Making it more manageable to do will improve your success and follow through rate. Plus, once you are confident in your first baby step, you can take a few bigger steps until you eventually reach your ultimate goal.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that means
“Change for the better” or “Continuous Improvement.”

It is a term that involves the continual process of manageable and incremental steps in order to see improvement. 

We can use the kaizen philosophy to better ourselves (and the kiddos in our lives) at being mindful. By taking small, intentional steps to reach our fullest potential. We can adjust our steps as needed. This guarantees success!

Now, there are SO many ways and opportunities to schedule mindfulness into our days!

If you want to learn more about ‘Kaizen’, I highly recommend you check out this book!

Whether you are practicing mindfulness for yourself, or for your kiddos, or perhaps, you have an entire classroom of kids, it is EASY (and hopefully I’ve convinced you it’s possible) to find time for mindfulness. 

Tips on HOW to Schedule Mindfulness into your Day:

  1. Schedule specific times on a calendar. When you write things down, you are more likely to make it happen! It doesn’t matter if it means only deep breathing looking out the window for 30 seconds-1 minute each day. It’s still the start of something. The key is to make it INTENTIONAL. Set specific times each day to make time for YOU!

  2. Try having a morning and evening practice. Once again, even if you can only dedicate a minute in the morning and a minute in the evening, that’s okay! Starting the day with mindfulness can set you up for success and ending it off with mindfulness helps you relax for a more peaceful evening or sleep.

  3. Take deep breaths before beginning tasks. An easy way to sneak mindfulness in the day, whether in your personal life or in the classroom, is to begin each transition (of whatever it is you’re doing), with a deep belly breath or 2. Getting in your car to run an errand, before starting work, transitioning from one task to another (in a classroom setting, switching subjects), coming home from work or school are all great times to sneak in a few deep breaths. Deep breaths are powerful because they calm our brains and allow us to reconnect with our body and breath.

  4. Positive affirmations and intentions: Take a quick moment in your morning to set an intention or speak out some positive affirmations for your day ahead. Could be as quick as taking a minute to say things like “I intend to be filled with gratitude today,” “I am happy and healthy,” “I will persevere today!” Really feel the power behind your statement as you make it. This could begin as a quick moment in the morning, and grow to the point where you are stating affirmations randomly throughout your day, maybe even setting intentions at night for how you’d like to feel the next morning! 

  5. Express your gratitude daily! I really do believe that gratitude is the most powerful form of self-medication! You get the most “bang for your buck” with adding in the practice of gratitude. Expressing gratitude on a consistent basis really does make us happier and healthier humans. I could go on and on about the power of gratitude, but there will be more time for that in another post… 😛 

Here are some other quick & easy mindfulness practice ideas:

  • Going for a walk in nature
  • Thinking of 3 things to be grateful for each morning or night
  • Taking a minute to do a quick body scan and listen to your body
  • Mindful eating
  • Practice active listening
  • Pausing for a few deep breaths
  • Focus on your 5 senses at any point in your day
  • Mindful mandala colouring
  • Read a book in a quiet spot
  • Journalling
  • Stretching OR Yoga

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”

Vincent Van Gogh
Education, Health / Wellness, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness, Technology, Yoga

Oh, the Possibilities of Teaching Mindfulness Online…

Hello Mindful Minds! 

Miss T, here!

Well, I think we can all agree that the last few years have been anything but easy…

We are living in a world full of fear and uncertainty. Stress and anxiety is on the rise- and was well on the rise before the world even had a glimpse of COVID-19. 

Many of us, myself included, are feeling isolated and alone, struggling to cope with the reality of the world… 

If we are struggling… Our kiddos are struggling… How will our kiddos learn to persevere and thrive in this changing and stressful world?   

I asked myself this very question when I first began my Mindfulness Club at my little Elementary School (if you haven’t read my last post, make sure you do before reading ahead!). Mindfulness was the answer then, and is most definitely the answer now!

In fact, in this COVID-struck world, I believe the practice of Mindfulness is even more important and more detrimental to our kids (and our own) well-being and resilience than ever before!

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other
is to listen with our ears and our hearts .”

Fred Rogers

In March 2020, one week before our scheduled Spring Break, our schools in Edmonton, Canada shut down completely. We thought we would see our students bright and early Monday morning, turns out, we would not see them face-to-face for the rest of the school year…

I took a deep breath and reminded myself of the ‘controllables.’ No, I could not control what was happening in the world, but I COULD control and was very capable of finding a way to bring mindfulness to my students.

As schools and teachers frantically made plans to teach online, I thought about how to best serve my school community with the power of Mindfulness..

I decided to create a website for my students to access our mindfulness practices in the comfort of their own homes!

Using the platform, Google Sites… Mindfulness Club ONLINE was born!

Google Sites was easy and simple to use for a ‘non-techy’ person like myself. I am by no means an expert when it comes to web design. I prefer simplicity. Google Sites was the easy answer for me!

I designed it with a similar structure to our Mindfulness Recess Club- keeping our Mindful Monday, Wind-down Wednesday & Flexy Friday themes alive! Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I would post new breathing activities, yoga videos, games and stories (while getting creative and having familiar faces within our school record a read-aloud of a mindfulness book) for kiddos and their families at home.

I added a couple of extra features and resources on this site, including a virtual Gratitude Wall where students could submit notes of gratitude to an online Google Form. At the end of each week, I would add the submitted notes to a page on my google site, named “That Gratitude Attitude!”

This was created after our real-life ‘Gratitude Wall’ bulletin that hung in the hallways at Sherwood Elementary. 

Pre-COVID, students could submit notes of gratitude themselves, though a little drop-off box at the front office.
Welcome to Mindfulness Club ONLINE! Where our ‘Online Gratitude Wall’ came to life! Kids could submit their notes of gratitude through Google Forums.
Our Gratitude Wall Evolved over the years. This is the final version in 2020/2021 upon returning to ‘in-class’ teaching.

Most of the activities I posted were found for free on youtube (Cosmic Kids Yoga, GoNoodle Guided Relaxations), and breathing activities from a book I already owned (Breathe like a Bear- highly recommended for quick breathing activities for young children). 

But… I felt I needed something more… and tailored to these online needs. And that’s where Kids Yoga Stories came into play! 

I am a huge fan of Giselle and her work at kidsyogastories.com! I had previously purchased some of her classroom resources, but she had most recently come out with the ‘Keep Calm’ and ‘Get Connected’ packs and I knew I had to jump on those! These packs came with a ton of digital resources that I was easily able to implement onto my Google Site.

As crazy as this year was (and the years have continued to be), it ended up being a lot of fun and an exciting new venture for me: learning to build this site and share my passion in the online world. And surprisingly… easier than I anticipated!

If you are looking for ways to implement mindfulness online, or find new ways to bring these practices to the kiddos in your life, I would love to connect with you and share any insights or answer any questions. 

You can send me an email:



5 PRACTICAL Tips for Educators who are Shifting to Online:

  1. Find an easy “website” platform to use: 
    Choose a platform that is user friendly. Easy for your students to access, and easy for you to use. You don’t need anything too fancy. The point is getting out info to your students, you don’t want to waste a whole lot of time making it look pretty. I used Google Sites. My students and I are already familiar with google applications (easy to access) AND it is designed simply with no excess distracting features.
  2. Be open to using multimedia to address all learning styles:
    Think about the needs of your students. In the classroom, we differentiate to address different learning styles. Bring that practice with you in your shift online. Record videos or sound clips, add pictures and text. Make it easy and fun for all types of learners. A Lot of my students in Mindfulness Club were younger and weren’t great readers, so for every text I wrote, I also added an audio clip of myself reading the text. 
  3. Record YOURSELF and/or known trusted adults:
    Yes, you could search up videos of ‘professionals’ on youtube who already have videos posted to demonstrate a concept, but students love it more when they see you or someone they know on video! When choosing read-alouds for my Mindfulness Club Online, I recorded myself reading and asked other teachers and office staff in the school to read and record videos of themselves. The kids loved it!
  4. Make it interactive for your students:
    Find a way to make it interactive for your kiddos. A page of some sorts where they can respond or ask questions on their own. Google Forms can easily be inserted on any page to be used for daily check-in’s, questions of the day, etc. I’m sure there are some other awesome programs out there (maybe even Jamboards) that you could link up to your site, but my personal experience is working with Google Forms on my Google Site.
  5. No stress! Just have fun with it:
    This is where you get to see this as an opportunity to learn, make mistakes, and have fun while playing around with your site (Gosh, now I really do sound like Ms. Frizzle). You get to design it to let your personality shine through. If you have fun with Bitmoji, this is the perfect time to plaster your Bitmoji-self all over your website!! Ever heard of Bitmoji classrooms? I bet you have! Well, you can link your interactive Bitmoji classrooms all over your site! I have to warn you though.. This one can become a little time consuming if you’re a particular person, like me… So try not to dedicate a whole lot of time to it. (Unless it’s a fun hobby for you of course!)

P.S. I first wrote about my journey with ‘Mindfulness Club’ at KidsYogaStories.com

You can check out the blog post here!


Education, Health / Wellness, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness, Yoga

And That’s How ‘Mindfulness Club’ Was Born…

Hello everyone! 

Miss. T, here!

Do you want to know how I brought mindfulness to my students?

Before we go any further, I’m assuming most of you who stumbled across this blog probably know of mindfulness or meditation.

But in case you haven’t, mindfulness is quite simply being aware or conscious of something. It’s the practice of allowing yourself into the present moment. Getting out of your head and staying mindful of the world in front of you.

I anticipated that mindfulness would help my students work through some of their traumas by helping them to understand their emotions and by learning how to regulate them. I hoped it would help them with any stresses and anxieties they may have. Because of a lot of their circumstances, we had some interesting student behaviours and students who lacked self control and self awareness. 

Mindfulness studies have shown to have huge benefits in these areas! 

I also anticipated some positive impacts in the classroom and a ripple effect throughout the school as well.. Like increased empathy and understanding towards classmates, therefore decreasing classroom conflicts and improving problem solving. I expected mindfulness to bring about a more compassionate school atmosphere!

Educators out there, doesn’t this sound like an IDEAL school environment?!

… back to the actual HOW of bringing mindfulness to my little Elementary school…

Being an Educational Assistant and not having my own classroom or my own scheduled time to hold any sort of mindfulness lessons, I had a little bit of a problem on my hands.

But problems are meant to be solved! All it took was a little bit of creative thinking and planning! 


I asked myself a few questions:

  • “Who am I going to work with? Just my own home room class? The whole school?”
  • “What sorts of activities will I plan and lessons will I teach?”
  • “When am I going to find and make time for this?”
  • “Where can I get myself together with a group of students to teach them mindfulness exercises?”
  • “How am I going to get other’s on board with this idea?”

My goal was to get mindfulness into as many classrooms as possible, but I realized that I had to start small! With a little bit of a trial period…

As an EA, there’s not a whole lot of flexibility in my schedule and I don’t get any prep blocks so I knew I had to find time SOMEWHERE to get mindfulness into the week. I approached my teaching partner and our school principal with my dream. They were ecstatic and willing to give me the time and space in a spare classroom to practice mindfulness activities. 

We decided on running it Monday to Friday in the mornings from 8:35-8:45, 10 minutes after school began.

  • On Mondays, we quietly and mindfully colored gratitude notes and put them in a jar to be read on Fridays. 
  • Tuesdays to Thursdays were a mix of meditations, guided breathing techniques, relaxation activities, mindfulness stories and yoga games. 
  • Fridays were for reading and sharing our gratitude notes with our group. And then displayed on the wall for all to see!

It started off small, but over time, it flourished into a full classroom! I even had one committed teacher who brought her entire class down to the little spare classroom every day to begin their morning with mindfulness!

With some of the improvement I had been seeing and the participation I was getting, I decided to take it one step further the following year, when I had a bit more flexibility in my EA schedule…


….And Mindfulness Club was born!!

Mindfulness Club was a recess club that would be offered to the whole school and kiddos were able to come to the club as they needed – there was no “you need to be here every day or you’ll get kicked out” rule.

I held ‘Mindfulness Club’ every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during afternoon recess. I wanted to get a variety of mindfulness practices in, so students were able to continually add new tools into their “mindfulness toolbox.”  

I organized these practices into themed days:

  • Mindful Mondays: On Mondays, we would do breathing activities, guided relaxations, short meditation practices, etc. It was our day of silence and breath work.
  • Wind-Down Wednesdays: On Wednesdays, we did activities like mindful colouring, reading stories on mindfulness, doing kindness/empathy fostering activities, and holding sharing circles.
  • Flexy Fridays: Fridays were by far, the most popular themed day! Flexy Fridays were days filled with yoga and stretching activities. These days began usually with a Yoga Pose of the Day we would all learn together, and afterwards, we would do a yoga video, play a yoga game, or read a yoga story. Sometimes, we did partner yoga or took turns leading yoga sequences. It was so much fun to watch this crew transform into mindfulness leaders!

Regardless of theme, I always began and ended Mindfulness Club the same way every day.

We always opened with a circle (Don’t get me started on the power of circles!! We’ll leave it for another post…). We would take 3 deep breaths together, normally switching up the kinds of breaths we took, before breaking off into whatever activity was to follow.

We ended in a minute of quiet reflection. I would ask kids to sit down, closing their eyes or focusing on one spot on the floor. I’d instruct them to listen to their bodies. Do they have any physical feelings? Or any emotions that they feel now? How are they feeling now, after coming to Mindfulness Club? Before heading back to class, I’d ask them to do a quick check-in with me. Some shared a word that explained their feelings, others expressed themselves with the thumbs up/thumbs down system.

The question I’d like to leave them with was:

“What can you do for yourself TODAY, that can help you continue to feel joy?” 

For 2 years, I had kiddos rate their happiness levels on a scale system of 1-5 (5 being the happiest) so I could track the average. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it allowed me to see trends and also to adjust my club based on the needs of the group.

Mindfulness Club ran in-person for 4 successful years. My little mindfulness crew grew bigger and bigger! It had a variety of students who attended it, many of them, coming back for more mindfulness again and again!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to bring mindfulness to kids. It’s been an exciting journey to watch them grow, learn, lead, become kinder and gentler humans…

It’s been an honour…

In March of year 5… DUN DUN DUN… the schools in Edmonton had shut down because of COVID-19. It posed a real challenge for me, trying to figure out how to get mindfulness to my students in their homes, whom I knew needed mindfulness, right now, in times of uncertainty and fear.

But, you know me, I’m not a quitter. I figure things out, especially if I believe it’s important enough, and so I did some more creative thinking and came up with an idea for bringing Mindfulness Club online…

Check out my next post to learn more about Mindfulness Club going DIGITAL!

With love & gratitude,

Miss T.


P.S. I first wrote about my journey with ‘Mindfulness Club’ at KidsYogaStories.com

You can check out the blog post here!