Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Carpool Karaoke

You ever watch Carpool Karaoke with James Corden? If you haven’t you’re missing a real treat. If you’ve ever driven a car, you have certainly sung along with your favorite tunes on the radio. It’s fun, it’s liberating, and you don’t care what you sound like.

Imagine if class was like that?

Now, I’m not saying that most of you teachers are not fun and liberating, but I’ve been in a lot of classes in my lifetime and a lot of them not liberating. I think that’s why I went into the business, to resist that feeling that I had when I was in school.

When I watch Carpool, I see really famous people not afraid to be themselves, actually showing how nervous they are, and just being real people. It’s therapy in an amazing way. On one episode, Ed Sheeran told James that he was extremely nervous to be on the show Ed Sheeran!. It was shocking to hear that such a famous person could be nervous. He said it was because he needed his guitar as “armor” as James put it. What does that say about how he grew up and was able to face the things he did to become who he is today? Did school help or hurt that process? Did it liberate him? Hmmm.

I’ve watched episodes with Elton John, Beyoncé, Sam Smith, Adele, Miley Cyrus and every time I smile because I see how much joy they are having in the simple act of singing along with the radio in a car. The simple act of un-judged expression. The freedom to express without judgement. Isn’t that where creativity begins?

We have elevators in my school. Only the Seniors can ride in them as a privilege. They are in the middle of “mock exams” right now for the IB which is another expression for preparing for war. The kids are stressed out, overtired, and on the edge of collapse. I’ve tried to resist that stress put on them but it’s a machine that goes well beyond me.

So, I do my own Carpool Karaoke. When I’m riding in the elevator with a group of them, I start “Elevator Karaoke.” Sometimes I bring printed lyrics so that they can get the words. It’s liberating, a little awkward, and really, really fun.

Then the door opens and we all go back to work.

Wellness and Mindfulness

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

It was a morning filled with everything you hoped to see at a wellness event. Students, parents, and teachers were actively engaging in activities that included CrossFit, judo, Muay Thai, and yoga, all capped with the development of a few circus-related skills at the end of the day. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the wellness activities and their time with friends and family while the problems of the past week quietly drifted away. It is this characteristic that I particularly admire in Brazilians – the ability to fully live in the moment while temporarily letting go of their anxieties. I believe this is what the Persian poet Rumi refers to as surrender or, in more recent times, mindfulness, which does not necessarily come naturally to someone like me, who has a cultural bias towards a more future-orientated view of the world. This is probably why the photo from the wellness event of the two students enjoying a humorous moment with the orange traffic cones brought such a smile to my face.


One of our school-wide goals this year is a focus on wellness: To ensure a secure learning environment in which all stakeholders are physically and emotionally safe to learn and grow as individuals and members of the EAB community. 
The Sábado Legal, or Cool Saturdays program, has regularly provided our community with opportunities to realize key aspects of this wellness goal, not only for students but also for faculty, staff, and parents. As adults, we also have the responsibility of modeling wellness and mindfulness for our students and ourselves. We are only able to best serve our communities when each of us is at our best through our own foci on wellness. This fact is highlighted by our teachers who regularly lead yoga, dance, mindfulness, and running activities with students and adults at our school, which has clearly made a difference in the health of our community.

In the spirit of our mission statement focus on “learners inspiring learners”, I am grateful to our two wonderful students in the photo for reminding the adults about the importance of mindfulness and how to enjoy a moment.

Blog: www.barrydequanne.com

Twitter: @dequanne

Portuguese Version / Versão em Português

Bem-Estar e Conscientização do Momento

“Ser Mindfulness é simplesmente estar consciente do que está acontecendo agora sem desejar que fosse diferente; apreciar o agradável sem se prender as mudanças (elas ocorrerão); passar pelo desagradável temendo que não haja mudança (pois haverá).” – James Baraz

Foi uma manhã com tudo o que se esperava encontrar em um evento voltado ao bem-estar. Alunos, pais e professores estavam envolvidos em atividades como CrossFit, Judô, Muay Thai e Yoga, além de algumas atividades circenses no final do dia. Todos pareciam estar se divertindo com as atividades e com o tempo passado com os amigos e familiares, enquanto os problemas do passado eram deixados de lado. Essa é uma característica que eu, particularmente, admiro nos brasileiros – a capacidade de viver plenamente o momento deixando temporariamente de lado as suas ansiedades. Eu acredito que é isso que o poeta persa Rumi se refere como Surrender (entregar-se), ou recentemente como, Mindfulness (Consciência do Momento), o que não necessariamente é algo natural para uma pessoa como eu, que tem uma visão voltada para o futuro do mundo. Talvez por isso que a foto do evento, onde dois alunos se divertem com um cone de trânsito, trouxe um sorriso para o meu rosto.


Um dos nossos objetivos esse ano é focar no bem-estar: Garantir um ambiente de aprendizado seguro, onde todas as partes interessadas estejam fisicamente e emocionalmente seguras para aprender e crescer como indivíduos e membros da comunidade da EAB. O Sábado Legal traz, regularmente, oportunidades para a nossa comunidade participar dos pontos chaves do nosso objetivo de bem-estar, não somente para os alunos, mas para o nosso corpo docente, funcionários e pais. Como adultos nós também temos a responsabilidade de molda o bem-estar e consciência, para nossos alunos e para nós mesmos. Nós só poderemos servir a nossa comunidade da melhor forma possível quando cada um de nós focarmos, da melhor maneira, no nosso bem-estar. Isso é destacado pelos nossos professores que, regularmente fazem atividades com os alunos e com os adultos em nossa escola como Yoga, dança, atividades de conscientização e corridas, o que claramente faz a diferença na saúde da nossa comunidade.

Com foco na nossa Missão “aprendizes inspirando aprendizes”, eu sou grato aos dois alunos maravilhosos da nossa comunidade que aparecem nessa foto e lembram a nós adultos da importância da conscientização do seu estado de espírito e sobre como aproveitar cada momento.

Blog: www.barrydequanne.com

Twitter: @dequanne