How often do you find yourself in silence? Ever? Do you remember periods of silence as a kid? Silence in my life today is hard to come by. Truly, it must be time carved out of my day and rarely do I think to do this.
Recently though, I was with a group of educators and we spoke about silence in the classroom. One educator explained how one of her own elementary teachers planned five minutes of silence into the daily schedule: just before recess. As a young girl she said she relished this time.
What we do with silence when it is given to us or forced upon us becomes our own. I don’t know the thoughts of others during silence; they don’t know mine. For some it might be prayer, for others goal setting, for others a running to-do list. But I wonder how our thoughts and mood (or the thoughts and mood of our students) might change during silence if we began to experience it on a regular basis.
If I had a classroom of my own these days, I would carve 5 minutes of silence into every day. I would dialogue about it with the students first. Perhaps even present it as an experiment. Would those 5 minutes change us? How? Would we become more calm? Better able to deal with anxiety? Would it become time for prayer? Would it become a habit we look forward to in our day? Or would it simply be a waste of time?
Our society is so filled with stimulation: games, television, advertising, devices, advertising on our devices. Can we shut out the noise, stop the distractions, and simply be? I am going to try 5 minutes of daily silence myself this week. I’ll keep you posted…