Sophomore and Senior English teacher, Mr. Sean Lawlor, begins each class and quarter in an interesting way. At the beginning of every class, Mr. Lawlor takes a few brief moments to allow the class to relax with a small meditation time in which students close their eyes and put their heads down to slow down the day and release pressure from their busy and demanding daily schedules.
“The meditation time is for students to take a deep breath or two amidst their busy days. Their lives are demanding, and I feel it is extremely important to pause from time to time amidst the chaos, lest the information and responsibilities become overwhelming,” Mr. Lawlor said.
Similar to the small meditations at the beginning of class, Mr. Lawlor dedicates a full class period to reflection at the beginning and end of each quarter. He has his students sit upright with good posture and focus on deep breathing in order to clear their minds and reflect on the past quarter, while also looking ahead to the next one.
“The meditation at the beginning of the quarter was designed to guide students through a reflection regarding their performance through the quarter,” Mr. Lawlor said.
According to Mr. Lawlor, he decided to begin conducting meditation time after observing that student stress levels can be very high at Rockhurst. He believes deep, focused breathing can work wonders toward calming those levels.
“I saw and felt how rapidly each day went, and I thought it was very important to create a time and space where we could simply pause and be still,” Mr. Lawlor said.
The meditation seems to be very constructive for students that actively participate in it. But, according to Mr. Lawlor, the temptation for students to use this time to take naps is one of the main challenges of the meditation.
“It is my hope that at least one student will be able to carry the practice beyond the classroom, working to breathe more deeply through the day and maintain greater calm and awareness amidst all the busyness he faces,” Mr. Lawlor said.