Wellbeing and Mindfulness in a School Library

With so many pressures on our students: academics, exams, body image, parental pressures, friendships, belonging and fitting in, bullying, inequality, playground gossip and social media, there needs to be a place of solace……and the library can be and is that place.

Megan and I spoke at the ASLA Conference in Canberra on ‘Leading Literacies through Mindfulness and Wellbeing’. I have written before how our library supports students’ wellbeing, so I won’t repeat myself! Also in an article for SCIS.

Resources from the ‘Student Wellbeing Hub’ are worth reviewing on how to handle pressures positively: creating a safe place, balanced life style, variety in activities, indoors & outdoors, creating growth mindsets, friends and pets!

Megan spoke about the elements in ACARA on Personal and Social Capability learning continuum: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and self-management. These are covered perfectly in sessions on Mindfulness. During this year Megan has been ‘mindful’ with our library classes……..students’ remove their shoes to come into the library, she talks of an aspect of mindfulness each week with some music to accompany the ‘words’ or the ‘telling of stories’ or symbolic icons and precious items.

It has been a very ‘quiet’ and different library ambience! Not our usual boisterous and vibrant place! Different, but in a positive way!! Megan can’t be accused of being the ‘louder’ #bestteachingpartnerever this year! So far!!!!!

Megan spoke about mindful reading and its benefits. Readers require sustained concentration to read and make meaning from literature, as well as time to reflect and appreciate the nuances in language. The practice of being mindful and present as we read is a skill to encourage; we might call this deep reading, slow reading or mindful reading.

Mindful reading is not skimming and scanning a text, highlighting and adding notes or reading while multi-tasking or becoming side-tracked by screens or your to-do list. Rather, reading mindfully requires the ability to be in the present moment, just you and the book, and can also be a time of calm in a busy day or an oasis in a turbulent time.

It was also nice to hear Megan speak about her book ‘Raising Readers’, which is now available from her blog where she delves deeper into mindfulness.

We were received warmly by an engaged audience with many questions and comments afterwards.


Thank you ASLA for inviting us.

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!