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Twitter Space: How to Teach Peace
Welcome to this Symbaloo Twitter Space. Today we’ll be discussing the subject of teaching peace.
A key action in promoting peace is education. Teachers are more than educators; one role of teachers that may be overlooked is that of a peacebuilder. With ongoing global conflict, it’s important for teachers to expose their students to those global issues and incite motivation in their students to be advocates for peace, both in their local communities and globally.
Listen to the Twitter Space in the video below, or keep reading as the text continues under the video.
What does teaching peace means to you?
Jillian: I think it’s a more overall feeling that the students need to embrace in their own lives. It’s important that they become advocates for peace themselves first and then let that extend to their community. It’s so important that they have that comfort among their peers.
Dene: I see teaching peace as an opportunity to show students what it means to live in peace. Creating that balance in life and knowing that it’s okay to have those opportunities to be expressive brings you into what it means to have peace.
How do you find peace?
Jillian: A lot of it is reflection. A lot of times I find myself getting caught up in different things happening, life is moving fast, and things are stressful. So, taking that step back to reflect on the reality of things.
Dene: I would agree. I think there’s major benefits in being able to take a step back and process. I really believe that having those moments to think about something else or taking time to step back and process are powerful.
Why is it important for young people to learn peacebuilding skills?
Jillian: I’m thinking in terms of my STEM lab, and one of the things we learn about is how to work with others. I tell my students that there are all these great things we do in the lab but we also get really angry when we do STEM. I think practicing those emotions in controlled environments, with the support of teachers, shows students that it’s okay to feel that way.
Dene: I think going the way of conflict and not trying to perpetuate peace is the easy way, and it’s important to teach kids that. “The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.” It’s important for them to see that it’s possible to learn peace and choose peace even though it’s not always the go-to choice for everyone.
What are some ways to practice mindfulness in the classroom?
Jillian: One of the strategies I use is mountain breathing, which is a visualization tool to help kids understand to stop, take the moment to just breathe. It’s called mountain breathing because you’re breathing in and going up the mountain, then you hold it at the summit, then you’re breathing out as you’re going down the other side.
Dene: I see mindfulness as awareness: where you are, who you are, and how you are feeling in those moments. How I ask certain questions or approach certain situations or how I’m diffusing certain kinds of things in the classroom is an act of mindfulness. It allows my students to identify where they might be, what they might be doing or feeling in that moment, and maybe offer them an opportunity for guidance.