A project that was born four years ago, and that has concluded with a guide of own mindfulness tools , but with the exception that it is the teacher who chooses them, depending on their way of being and acting in their teaching work.
A joint emotional education of parents, children and teachers, which leads students to have high levels of early attention, in which they have conducted workshops to develop interpersonal intelligence in early childhood, distinguishing and perceiving emotional states , so that a positive attitude is developed in which children learn to live together and manage conflicts in the classroom in a natural way.
Maria Luisa Teresa Fenollosa is the director and coordinator of the Mindfulness project from 0 to 3 years , graduated in Primary and Infant Education, she tells us together with her partner David Ruiz, transpersonal therapist and mindfulness consultant what this project consists of: “Birth arises ago five years, with the concern of Maria Luisa Teresa (Marisa), director of the nursery school “, says Ruiz. “Marisa took several courses to learn about mindfulnessAt the same time, he participated in a two-year program through which he received weekly sessions of this specialty, with which he discovered that the way of facing life, and specifically its difficulties, could be changed in a natural way, with less suffering. From that moment on, Marisa proposed the application of mindfulness in the Nursery School “, she explains.
And this is where S3P was born (we are three parts), an innovative program of educational correlation with students, parents and teachers, where Ruiz is in charge of implementing mindfulness with parents and teachers, creating a new emotional teaching system for babies .
In order to carry out this guide, each and every one of the sessions carried out with parents, teachers and babies was recorded and during four years, all the workshops and works carried out in this regard have been collected. A project that has evolved and has been a finalist in various competitions as well as a winner of national awards. In fact, the Generalitat Valenciana supported them financially to continue their research.
“Stress and anxiety are significantly modified with this technique”
What does “mindfulness” mean?
Full attention. This is the most widely used definition. Mindfulness, in short, means being completely calm in a state of intense attention. It should be said that mindfulness is not relaxation or concentration; these two states arise from that mindfulness, from that observation.
What is “mindfulness” for? What learning methodology do they use?
Stress and anxiety are significantly modified with this technique and its daily implementation.
For children from elementary school to adults, the pillars of learning seek to approach calm, inner understanding and responsibility when acting and living with emotions. With babies we have learned that freedom and their not conditioning or directing have allowed them to manage themselves and through the class group.
How did the idea come about?
Marisa Teresa, thought at the time that all the benefits obtained in her two years of personal mindfulness work could be applied in the classes. She found that her mood made babies calmer than usual. His level of attention allowed him to see the reactions of the babies to his greater tranquility with them and he thought that, in some way, mindfulness would be beneficial for the entire educational community starting with the smallest.
Why did you choose this age group?
There were no references at the time we started with babies. We spoke with associations and schools of mindfulness and the considerations were null. The question that assailed us was why not? And we began to learn with the little ones because the way of imparting mindfulness had to be modified since, babies up to practically two years old, lack a certain reflection that begins to start between two and three years.
What does working with students, families and teachers imply in learning?
What we have called in a particular way “educational correlation” is produced. The three pillars on which this technique rests go in the same direction, that is, in parallel with education but with a similar emotional harmony on the part of all the groups involved.
“At three months, the babies almost unanimously began to increase their attention in unusual ways.”
What results have you noticed? Have other centers participated?
We started the project and at 3 months and two weekly sessions, the results or the response of the little ones to mindfulness was invaluable. We adhere to the bases of mindfulness that clearly define the null pretense of obtaining results. We remain attentive and constant, without judgment, simply thinking that at some point the magic of the 0 to 1 year stage would emerge and the spirit and spirit that surrounds babies from 2 to 3 years old. It was just after those three months that we began to see that all the work done had worked. The babies almost unanimously began to increase their attention in unusual ways.
“Faced with a common baby dispute, another colleague came to hug both of them. We talked about babies between 1 and 3 years old”
It should be noted that in the classes there were babies who had to be in arms because they did not walk and some of them had little mobility. They were kept in the arms of the teachers for safety. The following year, a journalist who was following the project could see and mentioned it in her article, as in the face of a common baby dispute, another colleague came to hug both of them. We are talking about babies between 1 and 3 years old.
Conferences have been held in various schools in the Castellón area and conferences with CEFIRE in order to disseminate and bring this methodology to the educational community.
With what objective is this project carried out?
The goal is for babies to develop their communication skills and empathy, taking advantage of the fact that they are in the class group and interact with their peers. The aim is that the attention is established from an early age and the values of the little ones are reinforced so as not to be indifferent to the adversities that occur in the class. That they recognize their emotions and that they are able to live with their conflicts.
Have you noticed a change and evolution in their behavior?
We have experienced various changes in the behavior of the little ones, we have received videos from families in which we are informed of unthinkable behaviors for their age. References of how insistent behaviors were shorter in time, where frustration was less in certain actions. In short, in an almost unconscious way the baby redirects his attitude in favor of his well-being.
Apart from the collaboration of the parents when it comes to seeing the progress of the little ones, we have references of the changes made in each mindfulness class that has been carried out, with important details.
Do you have an evolution of the project in mind? What are you working on now?
One of the projects we are working with is “mindfulness for the time of pregnancy”.
With this, parents can have more specific knowledge and perceptions that can be applied from minute one of their child’s life. We believe that if parents are prepared to understand their child’s attachment levels with higher attention, they will be able to understand their behavior and that of their children in a gentle way.
“We must establish coexistence routines, create spaces where the stimulus is the neighbor, and where the emotional evolution is born from the contact with our partner”
In this stage that we are living now, what message would they give to try to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and empathy with others.
Our brain develops throughout life. Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain to learn through the different sensory windows, if to this we add that this brain work is completed with our thoughts and emotions, for us it makes a lot of sense that babies begin to receive inputs that do not are induced or external, but live with their own, those born from their behavior.
We must establish coexistence routines, create spaces where the stimulus is the neighbor, and where the emotional evolution is born from the contact with our partner. In this way we will be giving the baby the possibility to develop emotionally from its first years of life and have the class group as one more reference of its well-being.
The evolution of this project has been constant year after year, where they have been finalists in Simo Educación 2021, candidates for the III Best Innovative Teaching Experience and the III Innotech Edu Award , as Best Innovative Experience.
In 2016 they were recognized nationally in the contest of the Editorial Siena Pemio Escuela Infantil, in the Psychomotor category and in 2020 in the same contest, in the Happy Development category, “because we provide all the evaluations and adaptation times of a new child in the school with ASD “, explain the project coordinators, as they found a better and faster adaptation when the mindfulness classes began .