An Inspiring Week: Growing Mindfulness in Atlanta by David Flores

Elementary school students practicing a mindful sit during an MLP assembly at Slater Elementary in Atlanta.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a mindful shift at this school and with these students. They’re eating it up!”

Iman St. Jean, Atlanta Instructor

After only one day of mindfulness instruction, these words from our newest Atlanta based instructor, Iman St. Jean, exemplify the mood I also felt after spending a few days at Slater Elementary. Upon entering the school for the first time I could tell immediately that they were primed for mindfulness.

From the beautiful artwork displayed throughout the lobby to the children’s voices over the loudspeaker proudly reporting the Slater news to the way we were warmly welcomed by the caring adults on campus, it didn’t take long to feel that we were in a place that genuinely cared about educating and caring for the whole child.

JG and I had the privilege of leading a day of teacher training and an additional day of assemblies for the whole school in order to launch services and introduce Iman. What we discovered was nothing short of inspiring; a leadership team that prioritizes social/emotional learning, a dedicated staff that is committed to addressing the needs of each and every student, and a community of students that views themselves as worthy and capable of learning and growing, which is fostered by the community created at Slater.

These students gave us their undivided attention throughout the assemblies and by dropping into mindful sits so naturally (despite never having done it before) showed us what we already believe about each and every child; that they are born with the seed of mindfulness and our job as educators is to simply cultivate it.

It was a great honor to hear Principal Moultrie tell us “the kids did great! They don’t give everyone that attention.” Needless to say, we left Atlanta greatly inspired by the resiliency, openness, generosity, and love we genuinely felt and look forward to our continued partnership!

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