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

My Story: Why I’ve Chosen to Walk this Path

Miss T, here !

You might be wondering WHY I chose to do what I do. Why I chose the path of educator, and now, am choosing the path of a writer..

Well, part of the story might be a bit of a fluke, or maybe the universe meant for it to work out exactly the way it did. Depends on your perspective, of course, but I feel like things happen for a reason.

And so, this story is MY story nonetheless. 

When I was 18, I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do with my life. I had no ideas, no direction. 

There was a lot of pressure from teachers, family, and friends for me to pick a career path, get into university, and do the ‘typical’ highschool-university-career timeline. I felt like one moment, I was just a kid, and the next moment, people were shoving me off a cliff unprepared to fly into the world of adulthood..

This left me in a real funk… 

Maybe you’ve already read this in my previous posts, but I am not someone who likes to feel defeated or stay defeated. I think this part of me comes from my competitiveness that I got from playing team sports as a kid.

And so… I read books, watched documentaries, and dedicated tons of time to learn more about depression and anxiety, how it affects our biology, AND what we can do to overcome it. 

I love learning! Learning is what saved me.

It was because of this knowledge, and more importantly, the practical implication of this knowledge, that I was able to get out of this serious funk and find some direction in my life. 

“Knowledge is power. You hear it all the time, but knowledge is not power.
It’s only potential power.
It only becomes power when we apply it and use it.”

Jim Kwik

Yes, I am aware that I’m not perfect – I still have my moments where anxiety takes over, and still have a lot of learning and self development to do, BUT awareness helped me persevere. It helped me get better.

Long story short, I managed to get out of my funk and move on with my life. 

I applied as an Educational Assistant for Edmonton Public Schools- not because it was my “calling” by any means. In fact, if I’m being honest, the real reason why I applied was because my Mom was an EA, and well, I was a tad jealous of all her vacation time throughout the years… 

(…I know, my motive was not ideal, but like I said, I believe everything happens for a reason!)

Shortly after applying, I got the job! 

I felt blessed to be able to shape little minds and have a positive impact on little lives. But, it did open up my eyes to more sadness in the world. Kiddos whose families didn’t have enough money for lunches, kiddos being shuffled in and out of foster care, kiddos whose families weren’t supportive or not completely able to care for them in the ways they deserved. There were many kids who saw more sadness in their short lives than I ever did in my 23 years of life.

It put a lot of things into perspective for me..

In creating Mindfulness Club, I hoped my previous struggles and my lessons learned could be used for good.. to help these kids. So they didn’t have to do it all alone, like I did. So they didn’t have to feel alone, like I did.

I saw the practice of Mindfulness work wonders in my years at Sherwood Elementary, hosting my little club and through living and breathing mindfulness each moment!

But then, 2020 rolled in…

And life changed… Drastically…

For many people, the year 2020 turned worlds upside down. 

For me, 2020 was a pivotal moment.

Yes, I felt the stressful effects (and still do). Like the seclusion from friends and family.. And all the time spent in my head ruminating over the question if this world was ever going to return to ‘normal’ again (I can’t even remember what normal is anymore)..

But more than ANYTHING, from this darkness, I was able to see the light.

“Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Stephenie Meyer

Yes, there was suffering in the world, maybe more suffering now than the world had seen in a while, but there was also an opportunity, MY OPPORTUNITY, for growth, change and inspiration.

I spent the previous few years helping a small number of students in a very small part of the world stay mindful and care for their well-being. 2020 allowed me to think BIGGER. To help more people on a WAY BIGGER scale!

I felt like I had a lot to say and plenty of experiences to share that could help people struggling in the world. And so, I started by helping the teachers at my school.

I created a presentation about building resiliency in our students and in ourselves- through the practice of mindfulness to cultivate some coherence in our bodies and minds. I gave the presentation at a staff meeting at the beginning of October 2020. 

First off, I feel like I need to mention that I’ve always had a HUGE fear of public speaking! When I was in Elementary school myself, I used to ask my mom to call in sick for me whenever I had to speak in front of the class (Shh, don’t tell my teachers!).

Never did I ever imagine that I would be WILLINGLY standing in front of a group of 20+ people giving a presentation.

But I did. And it changed me!

My presentation was a hit! Staff members were inspired to take care of themselves more. They understood the link between our thoughts and our overall health. My principal raved about my presentation and sent it to a few of his colleagues. 

And well, one thing led to another… and soon, I was speaking my truth to other groups within Edmonton Public Schools… and then to other educators in Western Canada… and finally, to educators around the globe!!

Because of the shift in the world and the abundance of online opportunities after 2020, I was able to get my message out there, my experiences and lessons out to a larger population!

All I ever wanted to do was help the kiddos at my school cope. But 2020 opened my eyes to the fact that I was capable of helping so many others. Especially in such a time of need, a time of struggle. 

Speaking and writing has allowed me to do just that. 

I want to continue to speak my truth… To use my writing and speaking to share my experiences with those who could benefit. For those who maybe can relate. For those who just need a little bit of help and guidance.

I’m here to remind you that it’s okay to need help, and okay to ask for it.

We are ALL just human after all…

With love,

Miss T.


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!